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The Newsletter of Harrogate

Registered Charity no. 1038457

www.u3a-harrogate.org.uk

email:u3a.harrogate@googlemail.com

Issue 26

Web Edition

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Keep Fit

Looking at Churches

Music for Pleasure

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Summer 2007

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The Summer Event 2007

This year’s Summer Event took the form of a visit to the Fulneck Moravian Settlement at Pudsey, Leeds. The Moravians came to Yorkshire from Germany in 1743 and founded a settlement which they called Fulneck after one of their original sites in Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic.

The site was consecrated in 1746 and the brothers began building.  Their building consisted of a massive terrace in the Georgian style, more than 200 yards long and 4 or 5 storeys high.  This terrace contained the church, which was completed in 1748, a boys’ school, a girls’ school, houses for the parson, the headmaster, the headmistress, and accommodation for the single brethren, the single sisters, and the widows. There were also workshops and rooms for other communal uses. A more modest terrace provided cottages for the married members of the congregation.

The large terrace commands views over a beautiful wooded valley, now with a golf course, tennis courts and gardens. The two separate schools were merged in 1994 and now provide boarding and day school education for children from age 3 to 18.

The church, which is a Grade 1 Listed Building, is light and airy and the position of the pulpit in the centre of one  long side means that everyone can see and hear clearly.

The traditions of the founding brethren are largely maintained although the strictly austere regime of the original community is no longer observed.

Our guide, who was dressed in the costume of the 18th century pioneers, was a fount of knowledge, not only about Fulneck but also about the Moravian Church worldwide.  We came away with an understanding of, and respect for, a charming and peaceful oasis in a busy world.

Bill Mallinson

The Church now known as the Moravians, was founded as the Unitas Fratrum, (Unity of Brethren) by followers of the martyr John Hus who was burnt at the stake in 1415. In 1467 they became the first Protestant church by separating from Rome and creating their own ministry and episcopal order.

A long period of persecution drove the brothers underground but the church was revived when a group, now called Moravians after their homeland, settled on the estate of Count Zinzendorf at Herrnhut in Saxony.

The Moravians were actively involved in missionary work, particularly in the United States and the West Indies, but also in more remote places such as Alaska, Labrador and Tibet.

The Fulneck settlement was part of this missionary drive and the Moravians strongly influenced John and Charles Wesley, who attended many Moravian services in the period before they founded the Methodist Church.

There are 35 Moravian congregations in the UK but the church has a strong presence in many other parts of the world.

The First Protestants