A new Meeting House
Friends at Hammersmith have a new Meeting House. Quakers are compelled by their faith to live adventurously. Presented with a rare opportunity to build a new Quaker Meeting House, they agreed it should be a beacon of environmental sustainability.
No one could have expected quite how adventurous opening a new place of worship in 2020 would turn out to be. Between the two lockdowns, Hammersmith Quakers moved into, and worshipped for a short time, in their new ultra low energy building.
Quakers aim to live as a low carbon community. As the newest Meeting House in Britain, no effort was spared to show their values. To reduce the building’s carbon footprint, it is certified to ‘AECB Building Standard’ for energy efficiency – ‘Passive House’ standards of energy efficiency. This reduces the building’s ecological footprint. The result is an ultra-low energy structure that requires little space for heating and cooling.
Quakers have worshipped in Hammersmith since 1658. Their first Meeting House was built in 1677 on Hammersmith Mall, close to the river and The Dove pub.In 1765,a second Meeting House was built on the same site. This was bombed during WW2. Hubert Lidbetter, a well-known architect, designed the1955 Meeting House. Hammersmith Quakers held their final worship in this third Meeting House during the summer.
The circular design of the Meeting Room reflects the non-hierarchical practice of Quaker faith and worship. Stewart Dodd, the architect, worked closely with the Quaker community. His gracious design reflects their core values and ethical concerns. The use of natural materials, colours and light, reflect the silence and peace inherent in Quaker worship.
The new Meeting House will be a focal point for Quakers and others concerned about the environment, peace, equality, and justice.