Quakers in Winchmore Hill have launched a £33,000 public appeal, for urgent works on their beautiful historic, Grade II listed, Friends Meeting House, and its garden and burial grounds. Quakers have already spent more than £100,000 on tackling subsidence, five lead thefts from the roof, and urgent conservation work. As a result, funds are short to finish urgent work – repairs to woodwork, replacing windows and doors, and reducing energy and water use. The burial ground and its walls also need safety assessment.
As usual, the Meeting House is participating in Open City, (London Open House), Sat 22nd – 23rd Sept, the annual event encouraging visits to sites of architectural and historic interest. Refreshments and guides from the Quaker group will be available from 2-5pm on both Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September.
“We’re hoping to see hundreds of people this weekend who just didn’t know this treasure is here” said spokesperson Stephen Cox. “In fact we’re amazed how many people who live locally haven’t stuck their head inside the building or looked round the grounds.”
“We wouldn’t charge people to come into a house of worship but we hope they will enjoy the building, grounds, and refreshments, and make a donation.”
Quakers originally met in a barn, built their first Meeting House in 1688, making them the oldest religious foundation in Winchmore Hill. The current Meeting House was built in 1790. A number of nationally famous people are buried in the grounds.
The Quaker appeal leaflet says “The Meeting House and gardens/ Burial Ground are a very special place of tranquillity and reflection in our busy lives. The gardens are open to the public and the Meeting House is let to local groups. It is an asset for everyone. It is the centre of our Quaker community, an open and accepting spiritual group, which has no dogmas or creeds, but which tries to live out our testimonies in the modern world.”