Ruth Haydock and
Friends' pupils, during their Quaker
TWO Friends' pupils, Ruth Haydock and Matthew
Maginn, had the unique opportunity to learn the Quaker history
when they travelled to England last month to meet pupils from
fellow Quaker Schools during the annual Quaker Pilgrimage.
The pupils set off from Belfast city airport
on September 21 to Bristol, to take part in the annual
pilgrimage for pupils attending Quaker Schools.
At Sidcot, Ruth and Matthew were given a tour of
the school by some of the other pupils who would be joining them
on the pilgrimage.
The next stop was Sibford School where the
Lisburn pupils stayed the night in one of the boarding
departments and had the opportunity to have a taste of boarding
life in an English Quaker school.
On Friday their journey took them to
Birmingham to pick up pupils from Friends' School Saffron Walden
and Leighton Park. After a long minibus trip, the group arrived
at Sawley Meeting House where they received a talk about George
Fox, the founder of Quakerism, and his vision on Pendle Hill.
Then it was a hill walk up Pendle Hill.
"Although the rain tried its best to dampen
our spirits, it wasn't successful. We then travelled to the Old
School House Hostel, Yealand Conyers Meeting House in
Lancashire, where we stayed for the next four days," recalled
On the second day, Ruth and Matthew visited
the beautiful Brigflatts Meeting House where they heard a brief
overview of its history from Tess Satchell. For the picnic lunch
they went to Firbank Fell which is famous in Quaker history as
the place where George Fox spoke to over a thousand people about
The visit to Firbank Fell was followed by a
visit to Kendal, the home of the delicious Kendal mint cake but
more importantly the famous Quaker Tapestry. Designed in the
same style as the Bayeaux Tapestry, the Quaker Tapestry depicts
the main events in Quaker History up until the present day.
Following that it was another hill walk, up Gummers How.
"After a relative scramble we arrived at the
top and could catch our breath just enough to take in the
amazing breathtaking view of Lake Windermere at dusk." said
On Sunday the pair got the chance to take
part in a Quaker meeting at Swarthmoor Meeting House. The open
worship proved to be very inspiring for many of the people
This was followed by a talk and tour of Swarthmoor Hall, the
home of Margaret Fell, a main supporter of George Fox and an
early Quaker. "The following day was our last and finished with
a session in the Meeting House, after which we made the long
journey back to Birmingham" said Ruth.
Looking back on the trip Matthew said, "The
experience was definitely enjoyable and we learnt so much about
Quakerism. It was such good fun and we're sure many lifetime
friendships have been begun. It was an opportunity that we would
take again if we had the choice."