Chapter 19 » 19.55

An ordered people

A letter ‘From the women Friends in London’ in 1674 described the tasks of women’s meetings:

Dear sisters … our services are: to visit the sick and the prisoners that suffer for the testimony of Jesus … relieving the poor, making provision for the needy, aged and weak, that are incapable of work; a due consideration for the widows, and care taken for the fatherless children and poor orphans … for their education … and putting them out to trades… Also the elder women exhorting the younger in all sobriety, modesty in apparel, and subjection to truth … and to stop tatlers and false reports and all such things as tend to division amongst us, following those things which make for peace and reconciliation and union; also admonishing such maids and widows as may be in danger … either to marry with unbelievers or to go to the priest to be married … that we may answer our duty herein, we meet every Second-day … that none may stand idle … for our services still increase many ways. But chiefly our work is, to help the helpless in all cases, according to our abilities.

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