In their own words:
“Our quiet, gathered Sunday morning Meeting for Worship has sustained me all my adult life: more powerful than private prayer, our search for God’s presence – that inner light in ourselves and in others – and the sharing of our concerns, tap into guidance about how we should try to live our lives. After meeting, there is something warm, friendly and positive to take out into everyday life – some meaning to our busy lives perhaps …” Polly
“I enjoy the simplicity of Quaker meditation. There is only one Power of the Universe, one Source, but many religions/beliefs. Two quotes I like: ‘Just realise where you came from’; ‘The morning breeze has secrets to tell you – do not go back to sleep.’” Richard
“Here are the words that came to mind one Sunday a few months ago as I was preparing myself for our time of silent worship. I remember being very aware of all those who had come before me into this quiet space: ‘To listen for the unheard … To sense untold Presence … To quiet internal clamour … To let the body be still … Is to gather all in worship … And offer mankind a blessing … Unconditional … Everlasting and loving’ ” Rosalee
“When I come to meeting, I feel I am amongst kindred spirits. Each of us present has our own set of spiritual ‘maps’ that we feel comfortable with using during the course of our lives; yet I get a strong sense that we are all using the same compass. This, for me, provides a sense of unity and comradeship within the meeting.” Frank
“I like the Quakers because I’ve found a religious ‘home’ that fits with me rather than me having to fit in with the group.” Elizabeth
“When I found Quakers (both at Woking and nationally) I discovered not only a spirituality that I can understand but also a group of people I feel very much at home with; not because we all think alike but because we know that, whatever our beliefs, we are respected and valued.” Irene
Who are the Quakers?
Quakers – officially known as The Religious Society of Friends – are a group of roughly a third of a million individuals worldwide, who refer to each other simply as “Friends”.
The Society was founded as a radical Christian movement in 17th century England. Today, Quakers come from a great variety of backgrounds and continue to uphold a progressive spiritual approach.
What is Quakerism?
Quakerism is a way of life, rather than a dogma or creed. It rests on the conviction that by looking into their inmost hearts people can have direct communion with something much deeper than thought – a profound and loving source of inspiration. This experience cannot ultimately be described in words, but Quakers aspire to base their whole lives on it.
What all Quakers have in common
There are differences in style of practice between Quakers as individuals, between local meetings, and especially between different parts of the world. Nonetheless, all Quakers share these things in common:
- A commitment to silent worship
- The welcoming of sensitive ministry from anyone present at a meeting
- Absence of any ‘spiritual’ authority, such as a priesthood or scripture (although individual teachers or scriptures may be regarded as inspirational)
- Lack of dogma or creed
- A commitment to working towards social justice, peace, humane treatment of prisoners, animals etc. Quakers have helped to begin many charities and non-profit organisations and some of the businesses they founded pioneered standards of social welfare provision, including decent housing.