The Spirit of a Place
Places, manmade or natural, can have inherent qualities that lift the spirit. Gwynedd Friends Meeting's architecture as a manifestation of the elegantly simple together with its gardens conveys a sense of timelessness and tranquility. Especially the play of light and shadow in the historic meetinghouse help us sense a unique transcending relationship in a moment of time, taking us beyond the material qualities. The impact of these revelatory relationships can trigger chords deep within us, can bring us in touch with the Source of creation and the mystery of existence. Providing for the preservation and maintenance of this special place is our work as a committee and its members.
Each spring and fall the Property Committee organizes a Work Day at Gwynedd Meeting. Work Day is a great opportunity for Friends to join together in work and fellowship. Such activities as window washing, painting, making minor repairs, doing routine maintenance, weeding, leaf raking, planting, and pruning enable Friends to make a valuable contribution to the Meeting, which reaps the benefit of having the work accomplished by the careful, caring hands of its own members and attenders. Friends make a valuable contribution by saving the meeting the expense of paying for this work
Gwynedd’s Property Committee is responsible for the burial ground on the meetinghouse property at Sumneytown Pike and Route 202 (DeKalb Pike), and the Penllyn burial ground on the northwest side of Penllyn Pike about halfway between the railroad station and Gypsy Hill Road. The Penllyn site is about seventy-feet square with an enclosing stone wall. It was originally part of the Orthodox Meeting that operated there following the Meeting’s schism in the 1820s. Burials at this site are still allowed.
The burial ground located at the Gwynedd Meetinghouse is divided into three sections. Section A, the oldest part, is open only to Gwynedd members who have family plots. Section B, which opened in the mid-1930s consists of 4’ x 8’ plots and is where most current burials take place. Section C was created in the 1970s, and consists of eighteen-inch square plots that are for cremations only. The burial ground is open to members and attenders of Gwynedd Meeting, members of The Religious Society of Friends from other meetings, and non-Friends on a case-by-case basis, with the approval of the Trustees of Gwynedd Monthly Meeting.
Gwynedd’s Property Committee is responsible for the upkeep of both sites. A clerk from the Property Committee assists with burial plot sales, and keeps records and plans up-to-date.
The Avalon House at Gwynedd Meeting
Community Use of the Meetinghouse Property
Gwynedd Friends Meeting encourages the use of its interior and exterior spaces by the community. To make a request, please ask the Office Manager about space availability, building use guidelines, cost-sharing information and reservation arrangements. You can reach the Office Manager by telephone: 215-699-3055 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial and Tribute Giving
Significant life events can be recognized in a tangible way with a memorial or tribute gift. Opportunities include marking the birth of a child, a marriage, a special birthday or anniversary, or the death of a loved one.
A short inscription is added to the accession tag and attached to a lower branch of the tree. The donor will arrange to care for the tree for the first year after it is planted. This entails a recommended regimen of checking on and watering.
Other Memorial and Tribute Opportunities
Contributions for horticultural projects are always welcome. These gifts fund planting throughout Gwynedd’s grounds. Donors can specify which part of the grounds they wish to support. Some examples are
Native plant communities
Maintenance of our current trees
Gardens surrounding the building including the Gathering Garden
Landscaping surrounding the caretaker’s home
Native plant meadow
All plants will be chosen in accordance with the Meeting’s plan for the stewardship of our property and the goal to increase the biodiversity on our land, a sacred place that celebrates creation and life.
The Property Committee has a list of approved plants for this purpose. Plants not on the list will be considered if they fit into the plan.