Introduction to Quakers
- Our beliefs need to be shown in how we live our lives.
- Everybody person is unique has value.
- Spirituality is about a journey of discovery not arriving at a fixed set of beliefs.
- Core values such as Peace, Equality, Truth Just and Sustainability are central to living a good life whatever faith tradition we subscribe to.
Who we are
We are young, old and diverse in every way you can think of. Quakers refer to each other as 'Friends'. We try to live our lives according to personal spiritual experience (leadings) and have no creed or priests.
What we do
Anyone can speak (minister) in our otherwise silent meetings (Meetings for Worship) which are open to all where Friends sit waiting for spiritual inspiration. We can do this anywhere and at any time, but most Local Meetings meet on a Sunday morning when you can find out what’s going on locally and get to know Friends. We try to live according to the values of equality, truth, peace, simple living and sustainability; we are often led to take action on social and political issues such as poverty and inequality, war and environmental issues. We have no clergy or hierarchy. Those appointed to positions of responsibility, such as being an Elder, only do so for a limited period of time.
What We Believe
Since our beginnings in Britain, in the 17th century, we have believed God, or some kind of inner knowledge (the inner light) exists in everyone (we say there is 'that of God' in everyone).
The first Quakers were Christians who rejected much of what they were offered by the established Church of the time. Today, while the majority of Quakers are broadly Christian, some among our membership are aligned to other faith backgrounds or to none.
We believe that we can all experience God directly, within ourselves. We do this through Meetings for Worship as well as in our relationships with each other and with nature. We also find it in writing, art and creativity as well as in personal prayer and other spiritual practices. Even though Quaker roots are in Christianity, Friends understand that God is understood differently by different people and within different faiths.