Visitors to Bath who need a break from the Christmas Market crowds are offered a place of refuge on the afternoon of Sunday 10 Dec. So if a cup of tea, a loo and a moment’s quiet is what you really need drop in and say hello to the Bath Quaker volunteers including Aliya, Conor, Davey and Christine.
Quakers and holy days: The original Quakers treated Christmas as no more holy than any other day, taking the view that each day, and all of life, was sacred and Christmas Day was no different. Most Quakers do keep Christmas today, but would view ‘peace on earth’, for example, as a message for every day of the year.
Quakers and dates: The date is another issue altogether. Early Friends didn’t use date names derived from pagan Gods. So Sunday to Saturday were called First Day to Seventh Day. January to August month names derive from pagan gods: February was called Twelfth Month and March First Month. The names September to December are just translations from Latin numbers so Quakers were fine with them; Christmas fell on 25th December. But in 1752, in a characteristically Quakerly act of standardisation, Friends started to refer to all months by number, translating September to Seventh Month etc. For a period Christmas fell on the 25th of Tenth Month. Pity the historical researchers using computerised records.
Contemporary Quakers use conventional dates. See you on 10 December; you’re welcome to look through our library.
Quakers enjoy Christmas shopping too, but bear in mind our excellent corporate advice #41: Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford.