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A Visit to Jordans Meeting House

21st June

Jordan’s Quaker Meeting House is located near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. It is considered one of the oldest Quaker meeting houses in Britain, dating back to 1688. The setting of the meeting house is peaceful, with a beautiful garden and orchard surrounding the property. The meeting house was built in 3 months in Autumn 1688.  It is one of the first Quaker meeting houses built after James II issued his Declaration of Indulgence in 1687, which allowed Quaker and other non-conformist groups to worship lawfully for the first time.

Quakers also known as the Religious Society of Friends, they are well known for the beliefs of simplicity and peace. The setting of the meeting house is peaceful, with a beautiful garden and orchard surrounding the property. Their worship is characterised by meditative silence, and when someone feels moved to speak, they will share their prayer with others. Jordans Quaker Meeting House remains an active centre of worship and social events for Quakers in the area. It also attracts visitors from afar who wish to learn more about the history of Quakers and their faith.

The house was the birthplace of William Penn, a Quaker leader and founder of the province of Pennsylvania in America. The meeting house was added to the property in 1700 and a burial ground was established on the site in 1702. William Penn and his family are also buried here.. Other early Quakers who worshipped here and are buried in the grounds include Isaac Penington and his wife Mary Springett, Thomas Ellwood (poet and friend of John Bunyan and John Milton) and Joseph Rule.

The property was acquired by the Quaker philanthropist Joseph Storrs Fry in 1846, and his ownership was eventually transferred to the Jordans Trust in 1940’s. The center offers educational programs and community activities for Quakers and all backgrounds. The building has been carefully preserved and restored over the years. Its historic significance has been recognised by English Heritage who designated it as a Grade II listed building.  Although the oak-beamed roof of the Meeting House was largely destroyed in the fire of 2005, the interior of the Meeting Room - the original wooden panelling, the brick floor and most of the leaded windows - survived intact.

Swarthmore Residents enjoyed a trip to Jordans with an explanation about the history of Quakers and the building. Thanks to Nina who gave a presentation and talk, we thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of the Meeting House and Quakers. A peaceful meeting house set in beautiful grounds; a true sense of tranquility.  

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