Victoria Friends Meeting

Sketch of Fern Street Meeting House by Barry King

Victoria Friends Meeting House*

Unprogrammed worship on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

1831 Fern Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8R 4K4

Visitors welcome!

Welcome to Victoria Friends Meeting. We are part of Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting (VIMM) which is part of Canadian Yearly Meeting, The Religious Society of Friends.

Worship style: As with all of Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting�s worshipping groups, Victoria Friends Meeting is un-programmed - an expectant �waiting upon the Spirit within the gathered Silence� which all attenders participate in. More information about an un-programmed Meeting for Worship is available in the section Worship Style on the More about Friends page.

Attenders are greeted as they enter the Meetinghouse, and the Greeter is available to answer questions about Quaker worship: pamphlets for �first time at Quaker Meeting for Worship� are also available. The close of a VFM Meeting for Worship is marked by the shaking of hands initiated by a designated member (Closer). When all worshipers have greeted those close by, the Closer will welcome new and returning attenders and lead the group in announcements and introductions. After meeting, all are invited to stay for refresehments and fellowship. This is a good opportunity for new comers to ask questions and pick up a pamphlet or two about Quakerism. We invite visitors to leave their name, phone number, and email address if they wish more information about Victoria Friends.

"Community reminds us that we are called to love, for community is a product of love in action and not of simple self-interest. Community can break our egos open to the experience of a God who cannot be contained by our perceptions. Community will teach us that our grip on truth is fragile and incomplete, that we need many ears to hear the fullness of God's world for our lives. And the disappointments of community life can be transformed by our discovery that the only dependable power for life lies beyond all human structures and relationships." (3.28)

Worship and Children: At Victoria Friends Meeting, parents have options with respect to the involvement of their children. Children usually join Meeting for Worship for the 15 minutes, and those that are comfortable with the silence are invited to stay for the full hour. There is a First Day (Sunday) School program on the 4th Sunday of each month — with activities for younger and older children during Meeting for Worship. General childcare is provided on the other Sundays of the month. After Meeting for Worship, children are welcomed to join in the socializing and whatever other activities may have been planned for the day (if appropriate to their age). All those designated to work with the children have been cleared through a Criminal Records check. For further information about the Children�s First Day committee and program, please email Victoria Friends.

Meeting for Worship for Business: Victoria Friends Meeting conducts its own local business in the manner of Friends. VFM Business includes both various local, national and global concerns initiated by its Peace, Earth and Social Action committee, care for the Meetinghouse, spiritual/community development events, and preparation for the collective decisions made at the VIMM Meeting for Worship for Business. New attenders are welcomed to participate in these business Meetings.

"It is good to be reminded that even trying to discern works for us as it brings our spirit closer to god. I don't think of God as something with personal attributes, so I don't feel forgiven by God when I make mistakes, but I can feel the spirit of God working in others when they forgive me for making mistakes." (1.64)

Past & Present: Victoria Friends became a Monthly Meeting in 1907. Over time, smaller worshipping groups developed up-island, and recently the collective community of Friends on the island was renamed Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting. Victoria Friends Meeting itself remains a small Meeting, with between 30 and 40 active members and attenders. Our meetings and activities are always open to visitors. We rent our meeting house to groups whose goals are compatible with Quakers.

Events: Victoria Friends Meeting provides an email update 2-3 times a month, which outlines both our own events and those of related concern in the wider Quaker and Victoria community — in addition to the monthly Vancouver Island Friends newsletter. If you would like to receive either, please contact us.

Victoria Friends Meet for Worship 10:30 a.m., Sunday, at Fern Street Meeting House, 1831 Fern Street (cross streets Begbie or Fort), Victoria, BC. Child care is provided during Meeting. Park on Fern Street or on cross-streets Fort or Begbie Street. General inquires for information about Victoria Friends Meeting can be made via email — contact us.

Victoria Friends Meetinghouse: Our beloved Meetinghouse was built in 1913 and has now been designated a Heritage Building. Its Quaker simplicity has been retained as a reminder that it is a sacred space. It is available for rent at a modest fee, and continues to be a favourite meeting place for other groups who share some of our social concerns. Please contact the Resident Friends at (250) 595-3697 if you are interested in renting the Meetinghouse for an event.

*The sketch of the Meeting House above is copyright by and used with the permission of Barry King. He can be contacted through the following website: http://www.northumberlandstudiotour.com/king.htm.