1900 - 1930
In 1901 Quakers built the Cotteridge Friends Hall as a continuation school for people who had left school at 10 to 13 years old.
In 1906 local Quakers founded Cotteridge Quaker Meeting in the hall. In the century since, Quakers have met for worship here every Sunday morning. Our concern for, and work in, the wider world has sprung from this worship.
In the 1930s, Cotteridge Quakers brought Hildegard Waller, a young Jewish woman, from Berlin to Birmingham and sponsored her teacher training. Seventy years later Hildegard left funds in her will to the meeting to enable us to sponsor another young refugee’s education.
In both World Wars Quaker young men followed their consciences. Many refused to kill and became conscientious objectors and worked on farms. Some conscientious objectors joined the Quaker Friends’ Ambulance Unit. Some men who fought attended Quaker meetings as they grew older. Many did relief work following the wars.
Much of our work focused on racism. Horace Holder, a Cotteridge Friend, gave a letter to 500 of our neighbours. It asked them to welcome new neighbours and to ensure their children did not support the National Front. Once he kept watch by a vandalised shop all night in order to talk with the vandals.
Many members campaigned for nuclear disarmament using a donated peace caravan. Several of us demonstrated at Greenham Common. We supported and hosted “Mothers for Peace.”
Many of our concerns were international. We supported international students on “Responding to Conflict” courses. We marched for third world debt relief at the 1998 Birmingham G8 summit.
Just before the Iraq war started a member of our meeting used non-violent direct action to delay the bombing.
Friends are now increasingly aware of environmental issues. We cut our own meeting’s energy footprint by 95% (about 80% energy saving and 15% energy generation).
We have been involved with supporting Northfield Ecocentre from its beginnings.
We welcome vegetarian and vegan food at our shared meals.