FROM December 17, there will be a regular Quaker Meetings in Haverfordwest occurring once a month, after a gap of almost 200 years. This has evolved from the Quaker Quest series of evenings in Haverfordwest, where local Quakers from Milford Haven, St. David’s, Narberth and Cardigan talked on different aspects of being a Quaker.
Quakerism first emerged in after George Fox visited Pembrokeshire in 1656 in the company of John ap John, who ended up in prison for refusing to doff his hat when going into “the steeple house” (a Quaker nickname for churches). Soon there were meetings in Haverfordwest, Jameston, Redstone, St David’s, Newport and Puncheston. Non-conformist were not allowed to worship freely for many decades, and records show that after Cromwell’s death in 1658, Quakers were sent to prison in Haverfordwest and remained there for 30 years.
The Meeting House in Haverfordwest was closed in 1824 and the Shire Hall was built on the site. There is still evidence of Quakers through to the 1800s at the Quaker Burial ground at Sutton to the west of Haverfordwest. Contemporary Quakers share a way of life, and seek to experience the divine directly, within themselves, and through their relationships with others and the world around them. They strive to be welcoming and inclusive, and value their commitments to equality, peace, integrity and simplicity.