One of our ongoing projects is a history of Watford Meeting and our researchers have unearthed the first report to monthly meeting following the recognition of Watford as an “Allowed Meeting” in 3rd month 1902. The meeting grew rapidly as a result of successful ‘poaching’ –
“This increase has continued up to the present time, and it has been accompanied by a steady stream of removals of Friends from London and other Meetings including one with the station of Recorded Minister.”
In 1903 a piece of land was purchased in Derby Road and a new Meeting House, with classroom and other offices was set up.
Jumping ahead 104 years, in 2006 we were again celebrating the completion of a new meeting house. [In 2009] we are [again] a growing meeting and we are grateful for this. Most of the newcomers come through personal contact and others come to find out what we are about and like the atmosphere. Watford continues to be blessed with an active children’s meeting.
Upholding group continues fortnightly, holding in the light any who request this. There is an active circle dancing group. Wednesday group meets twice a month for sharing, caring and ‘doing things’ together. A stimulating bible study group meets alternate Sundays before Meeting for Worship. We have a monthly shared lunch, sometimes followed by an invited speaker, sometimes discussion and, once a year, a walk ending at a convenient café.
[As we go forward the following areas need our attention:]
- Outreach and the possibility of Quaker Quest: these plans are now a reality and what we do next depends on its outcome.
- Environmental issues, as a meeting or in conjunction with other local groups: in terms of the meeting house itself we continually bear these issues in mind: in terms of the issue generally we need to be more focused.
- Awareness of local and international needs and what we can do to meet them: again this is an area where we have probably made little progress and needs more thought.