Farfield Meeting House

Farfield Quaker Meeting House – The Silent Building

Photo: Farfield Meeting House

There, sitting within green, a stone mass of four walls and slanted roof. It is new to the landscape, yet old to our eyes, the walls appearing to stand unchallenged, the stones uneven and pockmarked by the wear of time and the elements. These thick walls are home to a noticeable Silence. A prescribed quality that is sought by a few Seekers. The Silence is contained within this space, its power and attendance restrained by the cool dark walls, a conclave where peace may be found. The walls a barrier from the surrounding nature, setting a parameter between the Silence we seek and the wilderness that is found.

Silence, in its truest state, is absent because this room is alive!

Ghosts flow freely through the depths, the harnessed Silence giving them a space in which to roam. I sense them in the damp air and wordlessly greet them a welcome. History vibrates through the building, whispers from a different time and place, fragments of life as nature creeps in through the aged stone and worm ridden wood.

Yet we find a stillness in the layered noiselessness of the old stone house hidden by the trees. Free from the disturbances of modern life, the underlying buzzing electricity, passing cars and persistent demanding distractions of technology; not even a gentle tick from a clock inhabits this aged space.

In that bare room, as our Quaker Mothers and Fathers sat in the past, the stones protecting them from the wind and the rain, the sound of branches rubbing against the walls. We become enshroud by a heavy Silence gathered through many years, and cannot help but wonder, should the walls come down, would the Gathering of Spirit and Silence be cast free to the wind? Lost to us.

Other posts about Farfield:
Farfield Meeting House – The Silent Trees

Farfield Meeting House is a Quaker meeting house that is no longer regularly used. It is how owned by the Historic Chapels Trust. You can read more about it here Wikipedia article about Farfield Meeting House

Blog posts are written by members of Ilkley Meeting and occasionally other contributors. Posts are not necessarily endorsed by the Meeting and may not always represent the opinions of our members or the wider Quaker community.

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