Sunday, 22 January 2012

Truro Vean Meeting, Cornwall

I was at Truro meeting this morning. I would like to share a few photos of the meeting house. It is very beautiful, from the early 1800s. It is close to the town and looks out across towards the Cathedral. When I was sitting in meeting I was wondering what the early Quakers in Truro made of the Cathedral and whether they bridled at the church bells ringing so stridently. I was speaking to one of the members, a historian of early Quakers in Cornwall. She told me that the early meetings had women and men sitting separately, not to keep them apart she said hastily, but so that the men could react if they were attacked and keep the women and children safe.

The building is quite large. Today’s meeting and most of them unless it is very warm, are held in a smaller meeting room just across the corridor. The large meeting room is cold. It was heated in living memory by a tortoise stove they called it with coal brought up in two buckets from the cellar.

There is a top bench, well above the main room that was the Minister’s Gallery. I’d not heard about this but apparently, even as late as the 1920s there were Ministers, recognised for their skill at Ministry I presume. I was told that they were often travelling and this Gallery was reserved for them.

The lower bench in front, still set above the main room was the Elder’s bench and very cold and hard too I was told!

The back wall of the main room is made up of wooden paneling. This can be raised on pulleys if needs be, allowing more to see the goings-on inside. There is a Quaker library in the building too but I didn’t get the chance to go inside this time.

Thanks to and Greetings from Truro Meeting, a lovely place to share silent worship if you are here or roundabout.

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