Newsletter – February 2008

February 6th, 2008 by JCope

At the Society’s meeting on 5th February Joan Ryder welcomed the ten visitors and reminded members of the forthcoming Local History Fair, the April outing to Hughenden Manor and the May Social.

The main business of the evening was a presentation by member Hugh Maw, entitled ‘Local Quakers’.  Hugh began by giving some of his own Quaker background before attempting to answer the question “Who were the Quakers?”  Many knew little beyond the figure in plain dress and broad brimmed hat on the porridge oats packet but over the next hour we learned so much more.

Hugh took us through the life of the Dissenter, George Fox (1624-91) from his youth in Leicestershire, his periods in prison for his beliefs, his preaching in Worcestershire and Staffordshire and to the growth of the Society of Friends.  We learned of Ambrose Crowley, the founder of the Stourbridge Meeting in 1688, of William Penn who sailed to the New World in 1657 and founded the present State of Pennsylvania and a little about the Meeting Houses themselves – plain and unconsecrated but of great interest and beauty.

In a fascinating evening, Hugh also told us something of other Quakers, such as Abraham Darby, George Cadbury and Elizabeth Fry.  We were also treated to many photographs of the stunning Quaker Tapestry, depicting events in the history of the movement.

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