All About Quakerism
Introduction to Quakers
Are you searching for a faith to live by?
Do you think we are all capable of recognising truth?
Are you open to new ideas?
Do you long for Peace and Justice?
If the questions above are of interest, you might feel at home in a Quaker Meeting!
Who Are the Quakers?
Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends. We meet regularly to worship together. In our worship we try to still the business of everyday life and reach a quiet centre where we can hear the voice of God in our hearts.
Sometimes we share our insights: each person who speaks is heard in loving silence.
We are women and men from all walks of life sharing an outlook which respects other people even when we don't agree with them. Quakerism arose out of the religious turmoil of the seventeenth century. Many were searching for a religion that was alive and empowering and relevant to everyday life. We still hold their fundamental insights - for instance that we should live in ways which express Peace and Justice, and that, as Jesus taught, love calls us to look for alternatives to retaliation and violence.
Traditionally Quakers have been and are still actively working for reconciliation, caring for the environment and encouraging the equitable sharing of resources at a local, national and international level.
What Do Quakers Believe?
We believe that the light of God can shine within each human being, showing us how to live. In our Meetings for Worship we try to be open to the light and listen for the message which may come to us through our own or others' experiences.
We believe that all people can find the holy at all times and in all places without the need for ordained ministers. While our beliefs are rooted in he Christian tradition, we think that the Bible is not the only source of God's truth and we are open to the insights of other faiths.
How Do Quakers Live?
Quakers think that religion embraces the whole way we live our lives.
Since our early days we have believed in the equality and dignity of all human beings.
We try to live simply, not exploiting either our fellow human beings or any of God's creation. We respect the integrity of others and try to be honest ourselves - of course we are human and don't always succeed.
Because of these beliefs Quakers are known for their concern for education, for innovative approaches to dealing with offenders, and for relief work with refugees and in times of war.
Peace Testimony of the Religious Society of Friends
Our historic Peace Testimony is a reflection of Quakers' belief that they must live their lives in a way which promotes peaceful co-operation and challenges violence and warfare as legitimate ways of resolving conflict. One of the earliest expressions of this belief was this declaration to Charles II in 1660:
WE UTTERLY DENY all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatever; this is our testimony to the whole world. The Spirit of Christ by which we are guided is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil, and again to move unto it; and we certainly know, and testify to the world, that the Spirit of Christ, which leads us into all truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of the world.