Meeting house development

Can you help us raise funds to make Lewes Meeting House more sustainable and inclusive?

Lewes Quakers first met in 1655 and the meeting house was erected in 1784.  There have been alterations over the centuries, but major repairs and improvements are needed now both to preserve our heritage and to address our concerns for sustainability, accessibility and community.

There are many original features in the meeting house, including wood panels and listed benches, but rot has been found in the balcony, which is now closed for safety. In addition to meetings for worship, the building is used by many people in the local community, including groups for meditation and for adult learning, groups that support parents, refugees, carers and more. However, the steps and tight corners make access difficult for some.  We know our building could be more inclusive and hospitable, and we would like to work more effectively with local groups on our Quaker concerns, including social change and climate justice.

Donations, reserves from our Area Meeting and legacies have enabled us to assemble most of the total estimated cost of the planned development, but we still need £50,000.

We plan to make the following improvements:

  • Safer step-free access from the street, with a new gate.
  • An extension at the back to provide a welcoming entrance foyer and corridor, providing level access to all rooms.
  • A truly accessible toilet.
  • Repair to the original wooden balcony.
  • Dealing with a long-standing problem of dampness in one area.
  • Sustainable heating and soundproofing.
  • Two new small rooms in addition to the two current large ones which can be used for group meetings or events by hirers as well as Friends.
  • Improvements to the garden including space to plant two new trees.

Architect’s impression of the new foyer and corridor showing the skylights to give natural lighting inside, (image by Ecotecture).

An update on the project is in each issue of the Meeting’s Newsletter. See the Home Page for link.

Your contribution would be gratefully received by Sussex East Area Quaker Meeting

Registered Charity 1173819

Please see details below for ways to contribute.

By cheque payable to Sussex East Area Quaker Meeting, posted to The Treasurer, Friends Meeting House, Friars Walk, Lewes BN7 2LE.

By BACS transfer to the SEAQM account with your name in the reference field.  Sort code 08 92 99 – Account 65873683

Visit the “Just Giving” page via this link: click on the DONATE button.

If you are eligible to Gift Aid your donation, that would be very helpful. A copy of the Gift Aid form can be found below, for you to print, fill out and return to the Treasurer at the address listed above.

Gift aid declaration form (click on the highlighted text to open document)

Thank you so much, Friends.