The library of the Hertford Meeting House. In the absence of any other sounds, the ticking clock fills the hall. The windows are set high in the whitewashed walls, in order to prevent worshippers from being distracted. It’s an old building, with faded beams and leaded windows, but its simplicity belies its age—the retrofitted metal girders that brace the walls and ceiling are the only indicator that the building is starting to feel its 350 years. The Friends Meeting House in Hertford, 20 miles north of London, is the oldest Quaker place of worship in continuous use. It was built in 1670, little more than two decades after the movement was born in the ruins of the English Civil War. The Religious Society of Friends—better known by the sneering insult, the “Quakers”—was part of an upsurge in nonconformist Christian movements around the period when England was a republic.1 This story is from Kinfolk Issue Fifty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Partnerships Issue 29 Phillip K. Smith III How public art can create community and prompt personal reflection. Arts & Culture Issue 27 Goodbye to All That An essay that spawned a genre—the writer who falls in and out of love with a city and leaves it behind. Arts & Culture Issue 27 On Self-Sacrifice A cost-benefit analysis of altruism. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Design Issue 51 How to Make a Chair And do it on a tiny budget.