About Quakers

Introduction

We don’t offer neat creeds or doctrine. Instead, we try to help each other work out how we should live. All people are welcome and accepted at a Quaker meeting.

Quakerism is almost 400 years old. It’s the common name for the Religious Society of Friends. It grew out of Christianity and today we also find meaning and value in other faiths and traditions. We recognise that there’s something transcendent and precious in every person. Different Quakers use different words to describe this, but we all believe we can be in contact with it and encounter something beyond our individual selves.

Quakers don’t use traditional religious structures or paid ministers. We share responsibility for what we do because everyone has a valuable contribution to make.

Worship

The meeting is grounded in quiet stillness and lasts about an hour between 10.30 and 11.30, and everybody contributes in Quaker worship, adult or child. This may be through prayerful listening or through speaking, which we call giving ministry, or simply by being present. A newcomer or regular participant may feel prompted to speak. There is no requirement to hold particular beliefs in order to take part.

Ministry arises from our worship together rather than being pre-prepared though we may occasionally have short prepared readings. You may wish to pick up any of the books on the table and read an extract out loud from any of them. We discourage reading all the way through meeting though as this may be distracting to yourself and others.

Please allow a generous period of silence (10 minutes or more) at the beginning of Meeting for Worship.

If you want to know more about us, how we work and our beliefs, you can download the text of our booklet ‘Advices and Queries’ or visit the UK Quaker website.