Below are some queries which Meetings contemplating the acquisition, renovation, expansion, or construction of a meeting house may find helpful. Considered answers to some of these questions likely will be important also to the Friends Meeting House Fund and any other institutions from which funds may be borrowed.

The Future

  • How permanent do we consider our Meeting to be?
  • What is the potential of our Meeting for growth? Are there people in our greater community who might be attracted to Friends?
  • How vigorously are we interested in promoting growth?
  • Are our members and attenders so numerous or so scattered that the Meeting should be looking toward eventual division?

Space and Facilities

  • For what specific functions do Friends fed the need for more or improved space?
  • What space should we have for First-day School?
  • What space should we have for Meeting for Worship?
  • What space should we have for conferences, social occasions, young people’s retreats, kitchen, library, etc.?
  • Should there be space for a resident caretaker?
  • Should there be facilities for community meetings and community service projects?
  • What provision should we make for possible physical expansion?


  • Should we continue where we are or find a new site?
  • Where is the geographic center of the homes of our present members and attenders? Should that be a factor in determining location?
  • Have we given adequate consideration to probable changes in the community over the next decade or several decades? Is the community changing so rapidly that we may want to move or expand again in a few years?
  • Is it likely that neighborhood changes might significantly reduce the property’s value?
  • Are we interested in locating in a place where the property can be of maximum use in community service?
  • Do we wish to locate in a place which might attract and serve a particular new constituency, such as people in a university community?
  • Are there other compelling reasons for a certain area or a specific location?

The Meeting House

  • Should we rent space? If so, what is available?
  • Should we buy and adapt an existing building? if so, what is available?
  • Should we build a new meeting house?

Site considerations

  • Are there any zoning restrictions which would preclude a church building, a First-day school, parking, or any community use to which our building might be put?
  • Is adequate parking space available?
  • How easily do highway patterns and public transportation provide access to the location we are considering?
  • Is there adequate accessibility available for the physically challenged?
  • Are hazardous substances present?


  • Have we made an adequate preliminary study of the costs of developing and then maintaining our meeting house?
  • How much capital can we commit to this project?
  • Has our Meeting demonstrated its ability and willingness to take on increased financial obligations?
  • Have sources of funds been thoroughly explored among Meeting members and attenders, and through the good offices of the Yearly Meeting and other Friends organizations, including the Friends Meeting House Fund?
  • Would it be possible or desirable to rent part of our building as living quarters or for use community groups, thus providing income to help cover operating costs?

Last updated August 8, 2003.

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