Adelaide meeting house of the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers
") is the oldest surviving Meeting House in Australia, built in 1840. Situated on Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide
, it is literally in the shadow ofSt Peters Cathedral
, on its west side. It is substantially made of timber, the only such church building in the City. The building was prefabricated in England and shipped to Adelaide by members of the Society of Friends in the UK.
Besides regular Sunday meetings, weddings and the like, it has also hosted secular meetings, particularly for peace, education, temperance and other social causes.
Despite a prohibition on churchyard burials in the City of Adelaide, there were around seventeen graves in its tiny yard,
including that of J. B. Hack's child.
and a son and first wife of Joseph Barritt. From 1858 no further burials took place there, as a separate area had been reserved for Quakers at the West Terrace Cemetery
The meeting house significantly predates St. Peter's Cathedral, the land for which was purchased in 1862 and the foundation stone laid in 1869. A condition of the land sale was provision of a right of way
to the meeting house.
Those worshipping at this Meeting are conscious of the traditional owners of this land, and regularly acknowledge them in their Meetings. At the beginning of Autumn, the Meeting recorded: In this season of Parnatti, the autumn time when our thoughts turn to winter shelters, we acknowledge the nations of the Adelaide plains, and the Kaurna people on whose land we meet. We pay our respects to their elders, and are reminded of the many ways our Quaker customs resonate with the much older practices of Kaurna people. We aim to live in this place with the same sense of spiritual depth and care for country that they have known for thousands of years.