Category Archives: News

Being a Quaker Community

Thirty Friends from across the Area Meeting met at Gloucester Meeting House on 22 May for a workshop on “Being a Quaker Community”. Two experienced tutors from Woodbrooke Where You Are led us in exploring this theme. We tried to identify why we valued our Quaker meetings, what we would like them to do, and what part each of us can play.

Sale of Park Street Mission in Gloucester

Trustees of the Park Street Mission and other Friends present a cheque to Angela Lamond of Stroud Women’s Refuge. The framed photo on the table is of Edith Sessions, a Quaker and the first woman magistrate in Gloucester, who set up Park Street Mission in 1880.

On May 14th 2019, the trustees of the historic ‘Park Street Mission’ in Gloucester, made substantial donations to two of the three local organisations chosen as beneficiaries. The money came from the sale of the historic building in Park Street, Gloucester, following closure of the Park Street Mission. The building has been a place of worship for over 340 years, with Edith Sessions, a Quaker and the first woman magistrate in Gloucester, setting up the ‘Park Street Mission’ there in 1880.

The money has been donated to Stroud Women’s Refuge and The Family Haven, and a presentation will shortly be made to The Nelson Trust. This is in accordance with the original Trust Deeds which specifies that, if the Mission ever was to be closed and the building sold, the money should be used ‘as the trustees see fit’ or – preferably – be given to the ‘Home of Hope’ in Gloucester (also founded by Gloucester Quakers).

The Home of Hope was a refuge for unmarried mothers (mostly women in service who had been ’taken advantage of’) situated on part of the area now occupied by Gloucester Royal Hospital. Its site is now occupied by Hope House, part of the hospital, promoting sexual health and helping victims of sexual violence.

As The Home of Hope no longer exists, the trustees have honoured the original intention by selecting three local organisations who help ‘vulnerable and hurt women and their families’ to receive the proceeds of the sale. We feel sure that Edith Sessions would approve of their choice.

Sanctuary Meetings

Gloucestershire Quakers are a Sanctuary Area Meeting. Local Meetings at Cheltenham and Nailsworth are as well. This means we are committed to creating a culture of welcome for all those seeking sanctuary in Britain, by
– joining local efforts to oppose the ‘hostile environment’
– exposing the destitution and suffering caused by the present system
– confronting racism wherever we meet it
– campaigning for justice in the laws on detention and deportations
We support http://www.garas.org.uk who work with refugees and asylum seekers in Gloucestershire.

The Undiscovered Country : Conversations about Death and Dying

Mary Brown’s new book, “The Undiscovered Country : Conversations about Death and Dying”, was published in October. In it, she confronts the taboos surrounding death by talking to those who have lost loved ones, and to those who work with the dying and their families. She brings out their unique experiences of and perspectives on death and shows that it is not something to fear, but part of life to be acknowledged and discussed openly.

Mary is a member of Stroud Quaker Meeting. “The Undiscovered Country : Conversations about Death and Dying” can be ordered at bookshops or online for £20, or from Mary herself for £10.