A Way to God
Quakers share a way of life rather than a set of beliefs. We seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world around us. These direct encounters with the Divine are where Quakers find meaning and purpose.
Quaker Spiritual Practice
The bedrock of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship. We seek a communal, gathered stillness, where we can be open to inspiration from the Spirit of God. During our meetings for worship some may feel moved to speak: something anyone can do, as all are considered equal. Meetings can be held anywhere, at any time, although they are often on Sundays in our Quaker meeting houses.
Quakers and Christianity
The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity, and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus. Quakers also find meaning and value in the teachings of other faiths and acknowledge that ours is not the only way.
Sharing our Experience
Our focus is on our experience, rather than written statements of belief, and our collective experience is shared in Quaker Faith & Practice. This book is an anthology of Quaker insights, from the founding of the Religious Society of Friends in the seventeenth century to the present day. It is updated every generation, recognising that our understanding of truth moves on.
Quakers meet together for worship and other activities in local meetings. These are inclusive and open to all. In our meetings we hope to find acceptance, support, challenge, practical help and a sense of belonging. Our sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together.
Working for a Better World
Our religious experience leads us to place a special value on truth, equality, simplicity and peace. These testimonies, as they are known, are lived rather than written. They lead Quakers to translate their faith into action by working locally and globally for social justice, to support peacemakers and care for the environment.
Quakers do not have priests, or a hierarchy, as we believe all people can have a direct relationship with God. All Quakers are entitled to participate in decision-making processes and to help run the Society. Those with specific roles are asked to serve for limited periods of time, after which others take their turn to serve.
There are more than 475 Quaker meetings in Britain attended by more than 20,000 people. Nearly half a million people worship in Quaker meetings worldwide. You do not have to become a Quaker to attend Quaker meetings: they are open to all.
Thanks to Quaker Life for these words.
Where to learn more about Quakers:
Visit a Quaker Meeting: you can search for a Quaker Meeting near you, you will be very welcome to visit and have a chat with a friendly local Quaker.
The Quakers in Britain website has lots of information about what Quakers believe, what we do, and how we organise ourselves.
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre offers residential and online courses exploring many aspects of Quaker faith and practice.
If you’d like to understand more about what Quakers see as important in our faith, Advices and Queries is a good place to start. Advices & Queries is a short collection of questions and suggestions which Quakers use to help us think, pray and reflect on our spiritual lives.
Not sure what Quaker terminology or acronyms mean? Check out our guide to Quaker terms.