Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Quakers?

'Quakers' started as a nickname. Our full name is the Religious Society of Friends. Members are known as either Quakers or Friends.

What do Quakers believe?

Quakerism started in England in the 1650's when George Fox gathered groups of 'seekers' together. Quakers were trying to lead a renewal to live more simply and truthfully, following  the example of Jesus more closely. Many Quakers centre their faith on Jesus while some Quakers find inspiration from other spiritual experiences and faiths. Friends see 'that of God in everyone'. We base our search for truth on the experience that there is a real and direct relationship between each person and God. Quakers try to live by our testimonies to simplicity and sustainabiltiy, truth and integrity, equality and justice, peace and communication.

What happens in a Meeting for Worship?

A Meeting for Worship starts when the first person sits down. Meetings last one hour and are based on silence. In the silence, Friends turn towards the Light and worship God together. Occasionally, someone will stand and speak briefly. After that the Meeting will continue. A gathered Meeting for Worship can be transforming. Following our belief in a direct relationship with God, Quakers have no formal priests to lead worship and do not feel the need for special feast days or sacraments. The Meeting ends when two elders shake hands. The clerk will usually welcome everyone and give out any notices. Most meetings have a cup of tea afterwards.

How do I go about attending a Meeting for Worship?

Simply arrive at the Meeting House a few minutes before the start of Meeting for Worship. Enter the Meeting room when you feel ready and you can sit anywhere to join in the stillness. No seats are special or reserved (excepting accessibility purposes). Chairs or benches are usually arranged in a circle or a square. This helps us connect with each another and reminds us that we are worshipping as equals. Learn more here about how Quakers worship.

What about Quakers and children?

Children usually spend 10 minutes in Meeting for Worship with the adults before or after going out to have their own programme or activities in the Children's Meeting. Many of our older young people enjoy the residential gatherings run nationally every year. Several members of the Meeting have volunteered to run children's activities and all have had a DBS check in the last three years. Please let us know in advance if you would like to bring your children to Meeting so appropriate provision can be made.