Welcome to Ifield Quakers

5 Langley Lane, Ifield, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NB

       Roger Baker, acting Clerk                 01293 533658
       Barbara Kershaw, Room Bookings   01342 328767

Meetings for Worship take place every Sunday morning from 10.30 – 11.30.

All are welcome to attend, and to stay afterwards for coffee, tea, biscuits and a chat in this historic Grade I Meeting House (one of the first purpose-built Meeting Houses), where meetings for worship have been held since 1676.

The timber-frame stone-clad Meeting House was built in 1676, partly from recycled materials, as an extension to Robert Robinson’s cottage (c.1450), and it has remained largely unchanged.  A few later alterations have been made since, for the convenience and comfort of Friends, including, in 1822, a temporary wooden partition to separate the men’s and women’s meetings, a small kitchen lean-to in 1969, and two toilets (one with disabled access) in 2010.   Further information about the history of the building can be found at the British History on Line and the Wikipedia websites.

Although extensive repairs have recently been carried out to the North and the West Walls, it is not easy to see the full extent of the restorations because they were carried out so expertly and sympathetically by Valley Builders under the supervision of our experienced team of professional advisors, led by architect, Simon Dyson, of HMDW Chichester.   The cost of the restoration work was met by the generosity of Friends, through grants, an interest-free loan from our Area Meeting and by donations from many Quaker Meetings throughout the UK.   We are hoping that no further major work will have to be done for many years and that the time capsule in the West Wall, and a modern replacement for the ancient shoe we found which is now on display in the Crawley Museum, will long be undisturbed.
The day-to-day cost of running the Meeting House and maintaining our grounds are covered by the donations of Ifield Friends and attenders, and income earned by hiring of rooms, and by renting the adjacent cottage and the attic rooms above the Meeting House to the Crawley Friends Housing Association Ltd. (aka Camfield).   All Ifield’s funds are held with Triodos (an ethical bank).

Camfield, which is now an independent hostel for the homeless of Crawley, was started by Ifield Quakers in 1972 in the modern brick building behind the Meeting House.   Friends still play an active part in its organisation by serving on the Camfield management committee, and assisting staff and residents in many ways.   We share social events, but Camfield residents share our Thursday table tennis sessions, use the paddock for football, and are free to enjoy the peace and beauty of our Quiet Garden, as do all local residents.

The Quiet Garden

Ifield Friends select various charities to receive the proceeds of the Sunday collections.   The meeting also makes annual donations to the Campaign against the Arms Trade, United Nations Association, Crawley Campaign against Racism and the Crawley Council for Voluntary Service, and collects for Amnesty International and the Cape Town Quaker Peace Centre.   The meeting hosts regular meetings for Churches Together in West Crawley, collects and writes for Amnesty International and the Cape Town Peace Centre.  Ifield also organises the vigil to remember Hiroshima under the gingko tree in Tilgate Park at 7.00 p.m. on the 5th August each year.  Ifield Quaker Meeting and individual Friends are shareholders of Camfield and the Ifield Park Care Home and attend their annual general meetings.   Some Ifield Friends work for various local charities, including the Crawley Museum Society, the Longley Trust, the Gatwick Detainees Support Group and the U3A.
Ifield has an active and popular Discussion Group which meets approximately every six weeks on a Monday afternoon, and a Thursday afternoon Table Tennis Club, neither of which is restricted to Ifield Friends and attenders.   Other seasonal events feature in the Meeting’s calendar, such as Carol singing, a post-Christmas lunch, and a summer garden party.

Jan 2017

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