The Quaker physical presence in Bath: developing our vision

Sally Harris writes

I came to the Reaffirming Our Quaker Centre meeting on 11 June full of enthusiasm, ready to hear ideas from the Long Term Vision Group and think about who might use the meeting house once the Council stop hiring it for school parties. We looked at a wide range of different potential uses grouped into various themes, and at a timeline which told the tale of the journey Friends have taken and our hopes for the future.

Although we were concentrating on potential hirers of the meeting house, there was also an awareness that our building is the public face of Quakers in Bath but is not yet in a fit state to live up to our vision, whatever that might be. And this is point of what I’m writing – Friends, it’s now time to finish the refurbishment which we started in 2013 when we launched the appeal.

Four down; three to go: the list of seven jobs in our original appeal leaflet. 

Do you remember the appeal leaflet with its yellow “sunshine” of the changes we needed to make? There were seven jobs listed in the sunshine and we got four of them done before Yearly Meeting Gathering in August 2014  – new kitchen, new accessible toilet, better acoustics, and access for all. That left three – refurbished windows (to reduce heat loss and noise from outside), low energy lighting (again for energy-efficiency and comfort in the meeting room), exterior renovation (good stewardship and better appearance). At July PM, I shall ask if we are ready to relaunch the appeal and finish these last jobs so that the meeting house can be ready for whatever its future holds.

I have a stock of appeal leaflets in my loft. I hope some of you will volunteer to help hunt out grant-making trusts, draft letters to go out with the leaflets, find or take photos we can include, proof-read, stuff envelopes. I’m willing to get stuck in, knowing from last time that although it’s a concentrated effort it doesn’t last for very long and immensely satisfying once it’s all over!

Sally Harris

The former Masonic Hall – a quirky architectural gem – quite deliberately has no “face”. Bath Quakers love the Meeting House and want to present a Friendly face. 

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