Thanks to Carl Davis of the Leeds Rotary Club who in early September 2014 organised a most interesting visit to The Moravian Community at Fulneck near Pudsey. Originating in Prague in 1415, the original Moravians were followers of John Huss.
Opposing the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church they looked to the Bible and prayer for authority; they met in each other’s houses. For several hundred years the sect went underground to avoid persecution for heresy and danger of burning. A revival came in the eighteenth century when a group fled to East Germany and found a home on the estate of Count Zindendorf at Herrhut. The Moravians briefly joined John and Charles Wesley and from a house in Fetter Lane, London, they planned their evangelical missions abroad and through England but they eventually parted company.
1744 is the year that a group of Moravians, a protestant evangelical episcopal sect, came to Fulneck. The school followed in 1753 to look after the children of missionaries.
This we learnt from Rosalind Davey who, in traditional shawl and bonnet, welcomed us to the chapel. Later, she and Mike showed us round the community, its elegant terraced buildings and the museum. This, with Buckingham Palace, is one of the oldest complete Georgian terraces in the world.
Bible study is still at the core of their teaching and they emphasise Unity, Liberty and Charity in their dealings with each other and the community outside it. There was a feeling of calm about the place, even among the children just coming out of school. Len Hutton’s family lives there as does Dr Simon Lindley who organises regular choral and organ concerts in the chapel. It is also in a lovely setting above the Pudsey Beck. We ended the visit with a cream tea in the Boys’ Brigade Building.