About Our Meeting

What to expect: what happens: who does what

Rear of the Meeting House showing to Nantucket Quakers grave stones fixed to the wall.

Quaker meetings are rooted in shared stillness and silence. Anyone who feels moved may stand and "minister" about what is in their heart. They are heard in silence, and silence returns when they sit down. The Meeting ends with a shaking of hands.

The Clerk then deals with the notices and asks if there are any afterthoughts, which is an opportunity for anyone to speak about what came to them during the silence but about which they did not feel compelled to minister; or perhaps to bring before the Meetings their joys, sorrows, perplexities, or concerns. Sometimes a period of discussion follows before tea and biscuits are enjoyed.

​Quakers do not have ministers or priests. We chose from among our number someone to be a Clerk, and someone to be a Treasurer. All decisions are taken collectively. Quakers do not vote, but work to find the "sense of the Meeting" which all can support. We try to observe our discipline so as to preserve 'right ordering' in all our proceedings.

Our Meeting House was built by Quakers who had moved from Nantucket Island following the American War of Independence. They first arrived with their whaling ships in 1792, creating the town of Milford Haven in the process. The Meeting House was opened in 1811.

Weekly Quaker Meetings are still held in the main Meeting Room and are open for anyone to attend.

We hold a number of Pastoral Days each year when we gather as a community and often invite the other Pembrokeshire Meetings to join us. The tradition of holding a Winter Party each January is especially popular. Most Pastoral Days involve a bring and share lunch, an event – sometimes serious, sometime fun – and the chance to enjoy being with each other, as our Gallery shows.

Each February we discern which charities we shall collect for over the following twelve months. In addition to the physical collection made each Sunday, we post a link to the chosen charity online in our Notices. We also respond to the appeals we have received, reserving the monies collected on any fifth Sunday for such purposes.

We support Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS).

We are also on the Pembrokeshire Community Hub.

As part of being of service to the local community we let spaces out in our buildings to organisations and service providers whose values are consistent with our testimonies. This is why we set up the Wellbeing Centre on 2019 to replace Pinocchio, the nursery school, when they closed. They had been using the space since 1974. We charge an hourly rate consistent with covering the costs we incur.

The spaces we let are listed on https://en.infoengine.cymru/ and with https://www.milfordhaventowncouncil.co.uk/ as well as on this website.

Next to the main Meeting Room is the Library which has resources and books about Quakerism, other religions, and spirituality. There are notice boards and leaflets about Quaker work and the organisations we support.

​Adjoining the original Meeting House is the Nantucket Suite, the main room of which is well provided with chairs and tables, and has a kitchen and toilets. Beside the entrance to the suite is a plaque (see our gallery page) with a quotation from Waldo Williams, the Pembrokeshire Welsh Language poet, pacifist and Quaker, whose Meeting this was. Adjoining the Meeting House is an annexe built in 1971 to house the Children's Meeting, which now functions as our Wellbeing Centre.

​Behind the Meeting House is the old burial ground. The gravestones of the original settlers from Nantucket can be seen fixed to the wall of the Meeting House. They are notable for only having the initials of the deceased and date of death. These headstones are evidence of American Quaker practice as Britain Yearly Meeting did not accept the use of 'grave furniture' until 1850. Among them is that of Abeil Folger, a copy of whose diary the Meeting has in its library and online.

We are investigating the use of our gardens for community purposes.

​A plaque with the names of Clemency and Stephen Griffith is also to be found on the rear wall. Stephen wrote A History of Quakers in Pembrokeshire, copies of which can be purchased from the Meeting via our Contact Us form.