24th January 2024
When I visit different Quaker Meetings around Britain, I find they all seem alike in some ways, but they also all have their own distinct characters.
So, like most Quaker Meetings, Sutton holds Meeting for Worship for about an hour on Sunday mornings, 10:30 to 11:30am, in a simple Meeting Room with no religious symbols or special decoration. The chairs are in a circular arrangement, with a table in the middle, and on the table are a few books (which people sometimes read from) and usually some flowers. A description of Quaker worship, including a lovely video, is here. On a typical Sunday at Sutton we might get 15 to 20 people attending. Some of us have been coming for many years, and some are new. We don't currently have a regular children's meeting, but if we know in advance that someone plans to attend with children, we should be able to provide an activity for them.
At the end of the hour, two people (appointed to the role of Elders) will shake hands, and then everybody tends to shake hands with those nearby. After some notices are given, we all head for the Library where tea, coffee and biscuits are on offer. If you prefer to slip away between the notices and the coffee, that's fine, but otherwise we will be pleased to welcome you and you can join in the chat.
On occasional Sundays, after coffee, we have a short discussion at 12 noon – which you would be welcome to join us for – or a business meeting.
As well as the weekly in-person worship, we hold an online Meeting for Worship on some Sunday afternoons (details here). This is usually attended by about three people.
The Meeting has quite a few other activities. At least one of them is surprising for a British Quaker Meeting – guess which!
- On the second Saturday of each month, we host a tea for local older people, with some form of entertainment
- We have walks and social events
- We are establishing a group called 'Climate Friends' to work locally on climate and ecology
- We have our own steel band, which plays at all sorts of community gatherings locally