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Sit together in shared silence

"BE A HUMAN BEING, NOT A HUMAN DOING"

* RETREAT - Every Friday evening, escape the stresses of city living and join others in a shared silence in the heart of the West End. It is free for all. Drop in any time between 5.30 and 7.00; sit for as long as you want; leave whenever you like.

* RELAX - Although it's in the Quaker Meeting House, there is no philosophy, no religion and no catch. Just peace, tranquility and silence.

* RECHARGE - Go completely offline. Just like you, all personal technology must be switched off, leaving you to focus on you and your world.

* RETURN - Week after week, return as often as you like and learn to enjoy the benefits of bringing silence into your life.

For full details, see: www.dropinsilence.org

Closest underground stations: Leicester Square (160m); Covent Garden (370m); Charing Cross (390m)

52 St Martins Lane is directly opposite Cecil Court.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE

There will always be a volunteer from Drop-in Silence to greet you in the entrance gallery by the front door.

The volunteer will be able to answer any questions you may have, and will show you how to get to the Meeting Room where Drop-in Silence is held.

GUIDELINES to help you gain the most out of your experience

Please switch all your devices OFF or to SILENT before entering the Meeting Room. (Please do not set devices to vibrate, since this is still very loud in the silence.)

Please make any noisy adjustments (e.g. removing outer clothing, unzipping pockets) before entering.

Please enter quietly and sit down.

Please remain as silent as possible and do nothing to disturb others.

You may read or write, so long as this does not disturb those around you.

Please do not consume any food or drink (but there is usually a jug of water on the centre table for anyone with a tickly throat).

Please leave quietly and do not start talking until you are back in the entrance gallery by the front door.

Finally and most importantly:

We are all human - please try to remain serene if other people overlook any of these guidelines and, above all, please do not allow anything to spoil your enjoyment of Drop-in Silence!

AT THE END OF DROP-IN SILENCE

At about 7.00pm, one of the volunteers will indicate that Drop-in Silence is over by shaking hands. When you become aware of this, if you are comfortable doing so, you are invited to simply shake hands with the people around you.

Some people leave straight away; others remain to break the silence in the library.

ACCESSIBILITY

There is step-free access from St Martins Lane to Drop-in Silence and to the accessible toilet.

LEGAL NOTICES, ETC.

There are never any 'surprise' fire drills: if you hear the alarm, please gather your immediate belongings and leave the building straight away.

There is a first aid kit in the kitchen, but Drop-in Silence volunteers are not trained to give first aid.

Sadly, thieves are known to operate in the West End on Friday evenings. Please take good care of your belongings.

Drop-in Silence cannot accept responsibility for any loss.

Drop-in Silence is only available to adults (i.e. over 18 years old).

Drop-in Silence reserves the right to refuse admission.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Drop-in Silence is being made possible by Westminster Quakers as a way to reach out and share their unique silence in the heart of the West End with the wider community.

There has been a Quaker meeting in Westminster for over 350 years. During that time, members of the meeting have not only managed to purchase land and build a succession of Meeting Houses; they have also evolved a way of living that is centred on silence and peace. The present building was designed specifically for peace and silence when it was opened in 1956 after the old Meeting House had been destroyed by war-time bombing.

Westminster Quakers have agreed to open the Meeting House from 5.30pm till 7.00pm on Friday evenings, initially until the end of June 2016.

Drop-in Silence is being staffed by volunteers from Westminster Quakers and all the running costs and publicity are being paid for by donations from individual members.

Silence and peace are at the heart of Quaker life, and they want to share the benefits with others. There is no philosophy, no religion and no catch - just the chance to sit with others in shared silence.

For full details, please see: www.dropinsilence.org

Here is a short video about the venue:

https://youtu.be/gCaroOml7RY



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