A Quaker Meeting is based on silence, a silence of waiting and listening. The silence is different from that of solitary meditation, as the (active) listening and waiting in a Quaker Meeting is a shared experience in which worshipers seek to experience God for themselves. We come together to listen to the promptings of love and truth in our hearts.
The silence may be broken if someone present feels called to say something that will deepen and enrich the worship. Anyone is free to speak from their own experience of God/the Spirit, pray, or read aloud if they feel strongly led to do so. This breaks the silence for a few minutes but does not interrupt it. In the quietness of the Meeting, we can become aware of a deep and powerful spirit of love and truth, transcending our ordinary day-to-day experiences.
How we act as Quakers goes together with what we believe.
We don’t have a fixed creed because we have found that the search for truth can lead us to new expressions of values as well as confirming existing ones. We call these values ‘testimonies’. Today we focus on equality, peace, truth, justice and simplicity, and how they relate to one another.
Our testimonies encourage us to work for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. It’s not always easy to live this way, but as Quakers we try to encourage each other to keep trying.
Equality and justice
Quakers believe everyone is equal. This inspires us to try to change the systems that cause injustice and that stop us being genuine communities. It also means working with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners of conscience and asylum seekers. We were campaigning for independent juries in the 17th-century, for marriage equality in the 21st, and for a range of things in between.
Quakers are perhaps best known for our peace testimony. It comes from our belief that love is at the center of existence and that all human life is of equal worth. It has led Quakers to refuse military service and work creatively for peace. This has ranged from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to developing alternatives to violence at all levels. This could be personal or international.
Simplicity and sustainability
Quakers are concerned about excess and waste in our society. We want to make sure our use of natural resources is sustainable. We try to live simply and to find space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, and our experience of stillness.
Truth and integrity
Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, and we connect most deeply to this in the stillness of worship. This means speaking the truth at all times, including to people in positions of power. As we are guided by integrity, so we expect to see it in public life.
A summary of the broad principles of our belief and conduct can be found in our booklet ‘Advices and queries’
download: Advices and queries
For more detailed information see ‘About Quakers’ at the bottom of any page of this website
We are a diverse and friendly group of all ages, from young children, to teenagers, to spritely ninety year olds.
We think it is important to build a strong and lively community, and we organize other activities besides Meeting for Worship to which everyone is welcome.
- A shared lunch on the fourth Sunday each month, after Meeting for Worship
- Fellowship suppers throughout the year
- Study groups to develop our spiritual lives
- Experiment with Light groups
- Monthly book group
- A Christmas social
- Events organized to help tend the meeting house garden
- Occasional trips away, for 2/3 days, usually with a Quaker connection
- Occasional cultural events, such as poetry readings.
Top row: Despite storm Dennis, apple tree planting, February 2020
Bottom left: Walking? the labyrinth
Bottom right: Area Meeting Day 2019