Jenny Powell | UK Baha’i Histories


It might help to know my background.  My dear father was a very strict Roman Catholic, which in some ways did not help.  But I was grateful for the discipline and faith, which enabled me to face my difficulties in life.  Since becoming a Bahá’í, my spirit is now free!  So I will begin my story…

There is a wonderful building in the Cotswolds called Stanton Guildhouse, on a hillside overlooking beautiful countryside.  It was built specially to teach arts and crafts in a natural setting.  Once a month, this centre held what they called a ‘Quiet Day’ (at the time of writing, these are still held.)  A different speaker would come each month, and there would be time for discussion as well as quiet reflection.  My friend and I used to go.

On this particular day, it was a Bahá’í speaker who came to talk at the Quiet Day..  Neither my friend nor I had heard the name “Bahá’í” before, but we went along all the same.  It was always a time of peace and quiet.  Needless to say, I was the one asking all the questions!  Such as “Why do I need Bahá’u’lláh, when Christ has already died for me?”  I didn’t want to be disloyal to Him.  And I had many more questions.

At the end of the day, we gathered for tea and biscuits.  After this Farahnaz Mahony, the Bahá’í who had organised the day, chanted a beautiful prayer in Persian.  My heart leapt!  I said to her that I so much wanted to know more.  Farahnaz told me that they had what they called ‘Firesides” in a friend’s house, with different speakers, and that they were holding one on Friday (this being Wednesday).  She said that she would gladly come and pick me up, as she would be passing my house.

I thanked Farahnaz and said that my husband, David, would probably come too, as he had an open mind.  As they drove up our drive on the Friday evening, who should step out of the car but Farahnaz’s husband Paul, whom David had met two years previously!

At one of the firesides I attended, the speaker was Shirin Tahzib.  She was so in love with Bahá’u’lláh.  I was sitting opposite her, and was listening intently to her every word.  I could not take my eyes off her.  She started explaining about progressive revelation, and as soon as I heard this I realised that I had at long last found what I had been looking for.  Shirin came across to me, and we just hugged each other with tears in our eyes.

That was when I declared my belief in Bahá’u’lláh, with much rejoicing.


Jenny Powell

Gloucestershire, July 2021

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