New Quaker Meeting established in Malta
“It was with great joy and even more faith that we held our first official Quaker meeting in Malta last Sunday.” writes Linda Hoy of Sheffield Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting.
“Before visiting the island last year, I checked in case they happened to have a Quaker meeting and was not too surprised by the answer: the last recorded English Quaker visitors, Sarah Cheevers and Katherine Evans, were arrested and imprisoned for three years by the Inquisition. That was in 1658 and we heard nothing about Friends going back. Malta is hardly known as a hotbed of radical theology: although – as they’ve recently legalised divorce, we might assume the Inquisition is nowadays on the wane…
However, enquiries through the Friends House-recommended Meetup group, put me in touch with people on the island interested in Quakerism. It was lovely to meet and talk and since then other Quakers have materialised, one living on the island, one with a holiday home… the list is growing and the group has now found suitable premises – a chapel at the rear of the Anglican Church on Rudolfo Street in Sliema where a regular meeting has now been established on the first Sunday of every month.
I find myself returning – to see my new Quaker Friends, to visit the amazing archaeological sites and also for the walks. By strolling straight out of my hotel at Mellieha Bay I can wander for hours on clifftop paths with spectacular views across the eastern Mediterranean. Novembers are mild and sunny and the April fields awash with wild orchids, lavender and rosemary.
This is not an advertising feature by the Maltese Tourist Board. It is however an invitation for other Friends who enjoy walking and/or exploring a bit of archaeology to consider visiting and joining in the new Quaker Meeting. You would be most welcome.
There are cheap flights with Ryanair as well as plenty of cheap package deals. If you feel guilty about winter breaks, just consider it a form of outreach. If the last time Quakers made an impression on the island was in 1658, it’s time to return, I say.”