Open City (Open House) is for people to see buildings of historic and architectural interest and it’s become a regular thing for us to take part. We had good random autumn weather – surprisingly dry on Saturday and seriously wet on Sunday, plus the added joy of diverted buses and trains. Nevertheless we saw 35 people on Sunday and we guess slightly fewer on Saturday.
You never know what you will get. Sometimes people are really interested in Quakers and you talk about that, other times they just like the peace of the site and the building. Some are building tickers… show me the sites and then off. I spoke to a group of Quakers from Dumfries taking their daughter home, they were going to drive back that night. One of our regular lettings brought her children to see the building; we had someone married in the meeting in 1952 who visits every decade or so; an Anglican who wanted to know if our statement on same sex marriage was our view – yes, that’s why the statement on the website says it’s our official view; and various neighbours from close by or at least Enfield. And friends of Friends who asked questions about which Irish businesses were founded by Quakers which I couldn’t answer.
Much sympathy for the lead thefts and the building works – those with churches of their own have had similar experiences alas – but with cake sales and donations, not a bad day’s fundraising. As always you have patches when you wonder why we do it but the building and the community have something to offer and I will certainly volunteer again. There were more children than last year so we should dig up the Treasure Trail again.