That of God in everyone

A Trip To Ballitore


On Sunday 5th March, four members of South Belfast Meeting went to visit the Quaker Meeting at Ballitore, Co. Kildare, a trip that had been planned but postponed due to the COVID pandemic. We had an early start, so that we would arrive in time to attend Meeting for Worship with them.
The village of Ballitore first developed during the late 17th century as a Quaker settlement after two Quakers from Lancashire, John Bancroft and Abel Strettel established a farm and mill in the area (1684). Ballitore takes its name from the Gaelic 'Baíle' meaning a town, and 'Togher' meaning a marsh.
Over time, the Meeting House fell in to disrepair and in 1975 it was restored by Kildare County Council.  The room where MfW is held is on the upper floor, and the ground floor provides a spacious youth club and small theatre facility for the young people of the area.
We reached the village just in time for the Meeting- thanks to the excellent driving and navigational skills in the team.  Bernadette and Patrick welcomed us when we arrived. The Meeting room was heated by a small open fire, and after MfW we talked about Ballitore and its’ history over coffee. Later we were given a tour by Patrick to nearby Moone, to visit a former monastic site with its’ High Cross. The High Cross is beautifully carved with biblical scenes.
The visit was very worthwhile, and was an opportunity for us all to learn about Quakers in other parts of Ireland, and for the larger Meetings to support smaller Meetings.
For more local history background on Ballitore see

M&O March 23 Update

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In addition to our regular work, making sure for example that our many duty lists are up to date, we are supporting other Quaker groups in our Monthly Meeting, our nominations processes are working and we are regularly reviewing our anti-COVID measures, M&O has been considering how we might take on some of the suggestions arising from the recent “After Meeting Conversation” about “Communication“.

So do not be surprised if someone approaches you to see if you might like to produce a short piece on your thoughts for our website, in text or on video. Or if you see us carrying a Quaker banner at some future demonstration! Or if you see us putting up more Quaker posters in the foyer, encouraging the many people who use dour premises to join us on Sunday.

We also realise that in 2024 the worldwide family of Friends will be celebrating George Fox’s 400 birthday, as well as having the World Plenary Meeting of Quakers, meeting in person for a small number in South Africa but with many more of us joining via Zoom, possibly in hubs. That will give us a great base on which to plan to celebrate together, include perhaps running a Quaker Quest for those interested in hearing more.

We are also thinking about our work with Quaker Service and Friends at Frederick Street about support in the prisons, and our openness to students at the local universities.

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Ian, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will