Welcome to Ifield Quakers
Our Meeting for Worship is held at 10.30 am on Sundays.
Some other activities of Ifield Friends:
- our account is with Triodos Bank;
- we have a daytime discussion group which meets every six weeks - contact the clerk;
Peace and Social Witness:
- we write to or contact MPs and the press on these issues;
- we take part in the Crawley InterFaith Network;
- we are linked with other churches through Churches Together in West Crawley;
- we support the
- Campaign Against the Arms Trade,
- United Nations Association:
- Crawley Campaign Against Racism;
- Crawley Council for Voluntary Service among others.
- we are a Fairtrade Church;
- we make every effort to save energy both as a Meeting and as individuals.
5 Langley Lane, Ifield, Crawley,
West Sussex, RH11 0NB
Contact: the clerk- Roger Baker on - 01293 533658
We apologise for not updating the website lately. Life has been very full with last minute meetings with our architect and the builders. It has also been too full for Ifield Friends to organise the promised formal opening of the Quiet Garden and the big party for our donors – besides the drought in the South East has meant that our new Garden is struggling to survive.
However, we can confirm that we are nearly, nearly at the end of the major restoration of our Meeting House –
and, although there may be more structural work to be done on the horizontal beam and the window lintels on the North side of the
building, we are putting that off till next year and when more
investigations have been carried out.
We find it difficult to think of adequate words to thank all our kind friends and our grant funders whose generosity has made the restoration of our beautiful meeting house possible, but we think of you all the time.
Work is progressing – quickly in places – slower in others. The Quiet Garden (right) is sleeping its winter sleep and Garry is using his time to make nest boxes ready for Spring. I am sorry I made a mistake in the last report – Norman is writing only to those donors who have asked for an acknowledgment – and he has been very busy doing that. If you did not tick that box, and thus saved us a stamp, we thank you now and are most grateful for your help.
Unlike the new bulbs and plants in the garden the builders are awake and here (left) is the photographic evidence. The old door from the library to the cottage has been blocked up (above
plaster board is covering the walls and the old electricity
installations will be upgraded to current safety standards when the new
fire alarm system is installed.
Of course, the work is lifting the lid on some cans of worms and leaks in the roof we did not know we had (below). We have found that an original beam supporting the cottage room is rotten at the base and we will require approval from the heritage authorities to graft in new timber to strengthen it. We used to have an old horse chestnut tree in front of the cottage that had to be cut down a few years ago because it had honey fungus. Now we have discovered that the roots that penetrated under the south wall of the cottage have rotted away and have left large holes in the wet unstable earth. Our experts are thinking….
The builders are bashing us about…
Our builders, Alfred Cox & Sons (Brighton) Ltd., are back on site and are making their presence felt. This week they have knocked through three internal walls so that from our back door we can see right through to the space where the accessible toilet will be. Pictures speak louder than words so this month there will be more pictures than words… We are glad that the builders are not there at weekends and we can worship in the dust and silence on Sundays.
But we must thank the Gatwick Airport Community Trust for their generous donation of £3,000 as well as for all those generous Meetings, Friends and supporters who have helped us so much. Norman Birch is acknowledging all your contributions so, if you have not heard from him yet, you soon will. And THANK YOU ALL…. Every penny counts.
The new doorway between the meeting house kitchen and the cottage
The original cottage kitchen in the process of being transformed into a toilet for the disabled
Original timbers (with evidence of woodworm) over the door between the the Library and the cottage
Ifield Meeting House has been little altered since Quakers began worshipping in it in 1676. As one of the oldest purpose-built meeting houses in the country its historic importance is now recognised by its Grade I listing.
However, after 334 years of continual use, of being battered by wind and rain, and with woodworm and death-watch beetles gnawing at its timbers, this old building is undergoing major structural surgery.
The stone window arches and masonry on the front of the building have been stabilized, much of the concealed timber framework replaced with stainless steel girders. Repairs to the original oak timber frames completed and the glazing is back in place.
Ifield Friends thank all those individual Friends and Meetings who have contributed so generously to our appeal for funds to repair and improve our Meeting House. We also are very grateful for the support of other organisations, such as the National Churches Trust, the Gatwick Community Trust, Biffaward, and the W. F. Southall Trust among others. Thanks to them and, thanks to our own West Weald Area Quaker Meeting, we are now going ahead with the next stage…
Our specialist builders, Alfred Cox & Sons (Brighton) Ltd., have finished the most urgent repairs to the front of the meeting house and will start work again on the 6th December. With all the necessary rules and regulations satisfied, they will start to alter the building so that we can have toilets inside the building (what a joy it will be not to have to cross the yard in the rain). Then we can arrange
to install a new fire escape and fire alarm system.
We have not been idle while we have been waiting for the Listed Building consent. We are seeing our plans for our Quiet Garden come to life. Gary, our gardener has been clearing the brambles and undergrowth from the area, and indeed he has done so much that we are hiring a skip to remove the rubbish. Gary has also built us a pergola and erected the bird baths, cut an arch through the hedge to the burial ground and is making new paths. Although we intend to manage the garden for wild flowers and wild life, (we are feeding birds through the Winter and nesting boxes will be in place ready for Spring) we will also use some suitable ‘garden’ plants to add structure and to extend the flowering season.
We plan to be able to open the Quiet Garden to the public in the Spring.
Ifield Friends are working on plans for a Quiet Garden that will be open to the public. It will be as natural as possible, but will be carefully managed to make it an accessible, beautiful place and a habitat for wild flowers, butterflies, insects, and wildlife. We have some foxgloves and a few other plants lined up waiting to be
planted out and there is a small pond and some old apple trees.
However, if you have any garden furniture (benches, tables, chairs, or
birdbaths etc.) or suitable plants would you please contact us.
S I M P L E • R A D I C A L • C O N T E M P O R A R Y