In May 1652 George Fox had a vision on Pendle Hill.

“From the top of this hill, the Lord let me see in what places He had a great people to be gathered."

He was shown the direction to take: northwards to Sedbergh.

So, in June, at Brigflatts, Sedbergh and Firbank Fell (where Fox first spoke to The Westmorland Seekers) a step change took place.

This is the turning point, from random preaching to the start of a mass movement - because the Westmorland Seekers were a Puritan group who were well organised and had their own good preachers, such the outstanding Francis Howgill.

George Fox had already discovered that silence and stillness are key to moving beyond the self into encounter with the Divine.

So too had the Seekers and other Puritan groups.

In these groups, George Fox found others of a like mind and heart.

By the end of the day many were converted and his Pendle Hill vision of "a great people to be gathered” had become a reality.

When George Fox moved north, he found a greater number of people who had also been looking for a new way of experiencing their religious beliefs - but why in the north?

Partly because it was remote from the centres of power; partly because of the strong presence of The Westmorland Seekers, and partly because in the north there were "chapels of ease.”

These were remote chapels, for people who lived a good distance from their parish churches.

On 13th June 1652 George Fox arrived at Firbank Fell and famously spoke for three hours.

Barbara Mansell

Society of Friends

Swarthmoor Hall