Quakers to refurbish Friends House meetings space

Central London events and meeting venue, Friends House, is to have an
“inspiring refurbishment” after the Trustees for Quakers agreed to a
£4.25m investment.

Friends House is the administrative centre of
the Quakers, traditionally known as Religious Society of Friends, in
Britain and is traditionally used for the Britain Yearly Meeting, the
Quakers’ annual decision-making fourm. The 20th century listed building
in London is also a public conference and events centre, with its
profits used to fund Quaker work.

Architects John McAslan and
Partners have been employed to develop a ‘skylight’ concept (see artist
impression) as well as installing solar panels, energy-efficient
lighting, wall insulation, and heat-exchange systems.

The
Trustees have set aside £4.25m out of the £6.6m raised by selling a long
lease on Quaker-owned Courtauld House and the work will start in June
2013 after Yearly Meeting and is expected to take a year to complete.

“We
want Friends House to exemplify our Quaker testimonies to simplicity,
integrity, peace and equality, and to demonstrate our commitment to
sustainability,” said Clerk to the Trustees Jonathan Fox. “Friends House
is a key piece of our heritage, an asset through which our continuing
witness in the world is realised. We have expressed our responsibility
for its stewardship and our desire to enable the building to work for us
in a manner appropriate to the 21st century.”

The first Yearly
Meeting in the refurbished space will be in 2015, with planning already
under way for the 2014 event to be a residential meeting outside of
London.

Approximately 23,000 people attend Quaker Meetings for Worship in Great Britain, and there are more than 475 meetings.


 
Architect’s impression of proposed designs for the Large Meeting House (Image: John McAslan and Partners)
 
Any conference-related news? Email sarah@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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