Blackburn Quaker Meeting House fenced off because of anti-social behaviour

Blackburn Quaker Meeting House fenced off because of anti-social behaviour

Blackburn Quaker Meeting House fenced off because of anti-social behaviour

First published in News

A CONGREGATION of Quakers said they feel ‘imprisoned’ after drunken parties forced them to fence off the grounds of their meeting house.

The Blackburn Quaker Meeting House is said to have endured months of rowdy behaviour on the burial ground surrounding their base.

Members have found condoms, needles and excrement in the grounds of their King Street base.

Drunks had harrassed a number of groups who rent the town centre facility so much they had to find an alternative meeting place.

Now the Quakers have erected railings to keep people out of the secluded grassy area between King Street and Feilden Street where there are over 60 graves.

Church member Chris Tonge said it was the first time Quakers had been ‘behind bars’ since Quakers in the mid-seventeenth century refused to give up their religion.

He said: “Thankfully Protestants these days are not usually imprisoned. So, why are Quakers behind bars again?

“Our meeting house is on a pleasant secluded grassy area and crowds of young people decided that it was a good place to party during last summer. Initially we tried to engage with the youngsters to explain about the meeting house and tell them something about Quakers.

“Unfortunately the partying got out of hand and in addition to masses of litter we began to have deal with syringes and needles, used condoms and human excrement. Despite help from the police the trouble continued well into autumn and became too much.

“On top of this some of the other groups who rent the meeting house in the evenings were harassed so much by the crowds gathered in the grounds that they were forced find alternative accommodation for their meetings.

“This situation couldn’t go on so we decided that our only option was to erect railings to keep people off the burial ground. This is just opposite of what we really want to do.”

Mr Tonge said he wanted the meeting house to remain welcoming in spite of the need for the railings.

He said: “We would very much like to attract people to our meeting so that they can find out about our unique way of worship.

“Unlike most churches you won’t hear hymns, prayers or a sermon. We simply provide a welcoming and safe place.

“We sincerely hope that people won’t be put off by the railings. We are a friendly group who can offer a warm welcome to anyone who would like to come and meet us.”

Comments (13)

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6:35pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Just Dennis says...

Strange comments in this article regarding these grounds being fenced off.
I lived next to the Meeting House for many years in the 1940's,50's and 60's when it was totally hidden behind a high brick wall separating it from Paradise Lane whilst another wall and permanently closed gate completed the isolation at the top end of Paradise Terrace.
This certainly lent a secretive air as to what went on behind the enclosures at the time.
In fact many years later I visited the area and was surprised to find the walls demolished and a pleasant open area revealed.
Shame that they have again had to retreat behind barriers due to society behaviour.
Strange comments in this article regarding these grounds being fenced off. I lived next to the Meeting House for many years in the 1940's,50's and 60's when it was totally hidden behind a high brick wall separating it from Paradise Lane whilst another wall and permanently closed gate completed the isolation at the top end of Paradise Terrace. This certainly lent a secretive air as to what went on behind the enclosures at the time. In fact many years later I visited the area and was surprised to find the walls demolished and a pleasant open area revealed. Shame that they have again had to retreat behind barriers due to society behaviour. Just Dennis
  • Score: 36

7:39pm Mon 4 Aug 14

mark anthony says...

Free publicity ........ made the papers
Free publicity ........ made the papers mark anthony
  • Score: -26

7:58pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Graham Hartley says...

It is the Catholics, for offence against science and reason, who should be fenced.
It is the Catholics, for offence against science and reason, who should be fenced. Graham Hartley
  • Score: -19

8:50pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Excluded again says...

Same area as the story a few days ago with the manager of the Kings Court Nursery on King Street complaining about more and more drunken anti-social behavior in the area.

Sounds like there is a pattern developing in that part of town.
Same area as the story a few days ago with the manager of the Kings Court Nursery on King Street complaining about more and more drunken anti-social behavior in the area. Sounds like there is a pattern developing in that part of town. Excluded again
  • Score: 28

11:19pm Mon 4 Aug 14

noddy57 says...

Just Dennis wrote:
Strange comments in this article regarding these grounds being fenced off.
I lived next to the Meeting House for many years in the 1940's,50's and 60's when it was totally hidden behind a high brick wall separating it from Paradise Lane whilst another wall and permanently closed gate completed the isolation at the top end of Paradise Terrace.
This certainly lent a secretive air as to what went on behind the enclosures at the time.
In fact many years later I visited the area and was surprised to find the walls demolished and a pleasant open area revealed.
Shame that they have again had to retreat behind barriers due to society behaviour.
why cannot these folk live in peace without these yobs and low life making their unwanted presence felt. well if the council or police wont do something about it. Then l suggest some home vigilante that will get the police to sit up and take notice.
[quote][p][bold]Just Dennis[/bold] wrote: Strange comments in this article regarding these grounds being fenced off. I lived next to the Meeting House for many years in the 1940's,50's and 60's when it was totally hidden behind a high brick wall separating it from Paradise Lane whilst another wall and permanently closed gate completed the isolation at the top end of Paradise Terrace. This certainly lent a secretive air as to what went on behind the enclosures at the time. In fact many years later I visited the area and was surprised to find the walls demolished and a pleasant open area revealed. Shame that they have again had to retreat behind barriers due to society behaviour.[/p][/quote]why cannot these folk live in peace without these yobs and low life making their unwanted presence felt. well if the council or police wont do something about it. Then l suggest some home vigilante that will get the police to sit up and take notice. noddy57
  • Score: 15

7:16am Tue 5 Aug 14

DaveBurnley says...

It' sad that respect for others has been lost. You can't blame poverty or the times, years ago people were poor, yet still had respect.

These antisocial people have been taught from an early age to take everything and not to bother about hurting others.
It' sad that respect for others has been lost. You can't blame poverty or the times, years ago people were poor, yet still had respect. These antisocial people have been taught from an early age to take everything and not to bother about hurting others. DaveBurnley
  • Score: 24

10:10am Tue 5 Aug 14

ladysal says...

Unfortunately, I think the presence of Thomas right across the street will have had an effect.......
Unfortunately, I think the presence of Thomas right across the street will have had an effect....... ladysal
  • Score: 8

4:58pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Hena says...

Is is in fact the clientele of the Thomas Project. This has been going on for years, and should be policed on a daily basis. Father Jim must be brought to task about this anti social behaviour problem right in the heart of Blackburn town centre. Who monitors the drinking and activity of these people on the project? I have witnessed many undesirables in this area, and wholly feel for the church goers and the children at St Anne's school. I have seen condoms inside the school area whilst dropping my child off. More action is needed to rid our streets of these unwanted and undesirable people.
Is is in fact the clientele of the Thomas Project. This has been going on for years, and should be policed on a daily basis. Father Jim must be brought to task about this anti social behaviour problem right in the heart of Blackburn town centre. Who monitors the drinking and activity of these people on the project? I have witnessed many undesirables in this area, and wholly feel for the church goers and the children at St Anne's school. I have seen condoms inside the school area whilst dropping my child off. More action is needed to rid our streets of these unwanted and undesirable people. Hena
  • Score: 2

9:20am Wed 6 Aug 14

ladysal says...

Hena wrote:
Is is in fact the clientele of the Thomas Project. This has been going on for years, and should be policed on a daily basis. Father Jim must be brought to task about this anti social behaviour problem right in the heart of Blackburn town centre. Who monitors the drinking and activity of these people on the project? I have witnessed many undesirables in this area, and wholly feel for the church goers and the children at St Anne's school. I have seen condoms inside the school area whilst dropping my child off. More action is needed to rid our streets of these unwanted and undesirable people.
Hmmm.
As the parent of a child who did attend that school, I agree with some of your comment. Right next door to a primary school is certainly not the place for this refuge. However, Father Jim is doing the town a service - some of these people want and deserve help and none of them fit your description: it is their behaviour that is the problem, not them. The issue is surely the site not the service - what gives you the right to refer to them as unwanted and undesirable? So much for Christian charity.
[quote][p][bold]Hena[/bold] wrote: Is is in fact the clientele of the Thomas Project. This has been going on for years, and should be policed on a daily basis. Father Jim must be brought to task about this anti social behaviour problem right in the heart of Blackburn town centre. Who monitors the drinking and activity of these people on the project? I have witnessed many undesirables in this area, and wholly feel for the church goers and the children at St Anne's school. I have seen condoms inside the school area whilst dropping my child off. More action is needed to rid our streets of these unwanted and undesirable people.[/p][/quote]Hmmm. As the parent of a child who did attend that school, I agree with some of your comment. Right next door to a primary school is certainly not the place for this refuge. However, Father Jim is doing the town a service - some of these people want and deserve help and none of them fit your description: it is their behaviour that is the problem, not them. The issue is surely the site not the service - what gives you the right to refer to them as unwanted and undesirable? So much for Christian charity. ladysal
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Hena says...

"It is their behaviour that is the problem not them" please can you enlighten me on that sentence?
"It is their behaviour that is the problem not them" please can you enlighten me on that sentence? Hena
  • Score: 4

1:33pm Wed 6 Aug 14

ladysal says...

Certainly. I am an ex-smoker. To some people, that is a disgusting habit, which I no longer partake of. However, according to your comment, the fact that I smoked makes me a disgusting person and that cannot be changed. Those who drink to excess or take drugs can change their habits / lifestyle. Will they still be unwanted and undesirable people then? The habit of taking drugs or being addicted to alcohol is the problem and that can be fixed. These people are not unwanted and undesirable, their habits are.
Certainly. I am an ex-smoker. To some people, that is a disgusting habit, which I no longer partake of. However, according to your comment, the fact that I smoked makes me a disgusting person and that cannot be changed. Those who drink to excess or take drugs can change their habits / lifestyle. Will they still be unwanted and undesirable people then? The habit of taking drugs or being addicted to alcohol is the problem and that can be fixed. These people are not unwanted and undesirable, their habits are. ladysal
  • Score: 1

4:37pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Hena says...

I get your point, but why hang round the town centre drinking and drug taking? Obviously they are not helping themselves or else would they not be in rehab? They are a blight on Blackburn and a huge drain on the NHS when the overdose and their internal organs burst due to alcohol abuse. I am an ex smoker too, nearly a decade done, so I do know about change.
I get your point, but why hang round the town centre drinking and drug taking? Obviously they are not helping themselves or else would they not be in rehab? They are a blight on Blackburn and a huge drain on the NHS when the overdose and their internal organs burst due to alcohol abuse. I am an ex smoker too, nearly a decade done, so I do know about change. Hena
  • Score: 3

11:01pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Graham Hartley says...

Catholics established the Inquisition, an institution which caused much inconvenience for those viewed as heretics. It's claimed that Catholics don't do that now, though the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the Inquisition's current name. Rather like giving up smoking, only much worse. I advance again my claim that it is Catholics who should be fenced.
Catholics established the Inquisition, an institution which caused much inconvenience for those viewed as heretics. It's claimed that Catholics don't do that now, though the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the Inquisition's current name. Rather like giving up smoking, only much worse. I advance again my claim that it is Catholics who should be fenced. Graham Hartley
  • Score: -1

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