Photo: Chesham Meeting House garden

Chesham Meeting House garden

All are welcome to the small Meeting with a big heart.

At the heart of the Quaker religious life is the Meeting for Worship. Ours is held here every Sunday at 10.45am. We gather for an hour to worship God, mainly in silence: out of the silence may arise helpful ministry, sometimes as a prayer and sometimes as reflection on a reading or an experience the reader feels moved to share.

Quaker Meetings for worship are less Bible-based than the services of many Christian congregations. They are also distinctive for the absence of a liturgy of prearranged prayers, hymns and sermons. Quakers recognise that there are many ways in which different people come together for worship, and are glad to make this way available to all who find its plainness and simplicity "speaks to their condition".

Lithograph of Friends at a meeting

Friends at Meeting for Worship
Lithograph by Ron Waddams

The Meeting House

The present Meeting House was built in 1798. This Georgian Grade II Listed building is a single meeting-room in origin, but long divided into two rooms by a screen with three pairs of counterweighted shutters.

The east room (further from the road) is plainly furnished for Quaker worship. It contains a tiered section (nowadays seldom used) by the east wall but is otherwise all on one level with benches arranged to face across a square. A porch was soon added, probably in 1806. It was replaced in 1962-64 when four small rooms (kitchen,lobby and toilets) were added on the south side of the Georgian building.

Loving care is given to tending the grassed area beside the Meeting House, which includes the burial ground and has been in Quaker trusteeship since 1682.