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Middletown Friends Meeting celebrates World Quaker Day


It’s a meeting 340 years in the making and it’s happening Sunday, Oct. 2, at Middletown Friends Meeting in Langhorne starting at 10 a.m. as congregations from England and America worship together for the first time on World Quaker Day.

In 1682 members of Settle Friends Meeting in the north of England followed William Penn’s promise for religious freedom in Pennsylvania and emigrated across the Atlantic Ocean. The group landed in Philadelphia and by 1683 had founded Neshamina Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, known as Quakers. Early Meetings for Worship were held at the home of Nicholas Waln and others.

Waln donated land for the construction of a Meetinghouse near Neshaminy Creek. The present-day Meetinghouse, built in 1793, stands on West Maple Avenue in Middletown Township. The name of the Meeting was changed from Neshamina to Middletown in 1692 to reflect the actual location of the Meeting.

In 2018, Middletown Friends contemplated a celebration of its 335th anniversary and decided to search its roots in Settle, England. An exchange of e-mails, letters and photographs built a bridge from the past to the present that has helped Friends on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean understand the magnitude of the decision made by those first families who traveled to the new world.

World Quaker Day will truly be a global event for Friends in Settle, England, and Langhorne, Pa., as the two congregations come together for Meeting for Worship electronically. The English folks have adjusted their Meeting schedule to allow for the time difference and will join the Langhorne Friends at 11 a.m. via the internet.

The Meeting for Worship will be preceded by Coffee and Conversation at 10 a.m. with a presentation of history, photos and an introduction to modern Settle Friends Meeting members.

All are welcome to this event starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Middletown Friends Meeting, 453 W. Maple Ave., Langhorne. Meeting for Worship at 11 a.m. will be held in the unprogrammed manner of Friends.