Worship is the foundation of our community life. It’s the best way to get to know us. We hope the information on this site helps too. Find the nearest Meeting to you by visiting our Meeting finder in the Meeting Room section of the site.
We base our faith on an expectant waiting silent worship, and our own experiences of the God. We seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world around us. We meet together for worship in local meetings which are inclusive and open to all.
Our focus is on our experience rather than written statements of belief. Our community is based on sharing a powerful form of silent worship, and on our core values of truth, equality, simplicity and peace. This leads us to translate our faith into action by working for social justice, supporting peacemakers and caring for the environment.
The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus.
The heart of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship. We seek a communal waiting and gathered stillness, where we can be open to inspiration from the Spirit of God. We find both peace of mind and challenging insights, deep community and a renewed sense of individual purpose, and joy to wonder at God’s creation. Find out more in Friends beliefs.
During our meetings for worship some may feel moved to speak: something anyone may do, as all are considered equal. Friends do not have priests, or a hierarchy, as we believe all people can have a direct relationship with God.
You do not have to be a Friend to attend Friends meetings, which are open to all. Meetings can be held anywhere, at any time, although they are often on Sundays.
If you would like to join us and share in our stillness you would be most welcome.
The Quaker way is both radically individualist and radically communitarian. We like to say that “there is that of God in everyone,” meaning that each one of us can encounter God directly, without relying on intermediaries or outward authorities of any kind. This puts responsibility squarely on the individual. No one else can give you the answers— you have to find them for yourself. The truth lies within. Our way of worship is intended to provide space for an inward journey in search of our relationship with God. The most important thing any of us can do is develop our relationship with God, wherever and however we experience it.
On the other hand, undertaking the inward journey in search of truth invariably brings us into community with each other. Many have described the experience of becoming one with the universe, of feeling connected to everyone and everything. Many have come to know that the divine is found not in isolation and separateness, but in our relationships with each other and with the world around us. Its essence is love. It connects us with each other.
“Friends, meet together and know each other in that which is eternal.”
The Quaker way of making decisions is grounded in this experience of community. We are each responsible for our own decisions, but we listen to the counsel of others because they are important to us and we are important to them. Friends have developed practices like “worship-sharing” and “clearness committees” to support community involvement in individual decision-making.
Spiritual community is also the foundation of Friends decision making in what we call our “meetings for worship with a concern for business.” Our business process does not rely on voting—we have found through long experience that the majority is not always right. Nor does it involve what is commonly called consensus—a kind of negotiated compromise to which everyone can agree. Instead we make decisions based on “the sense of the meeting”. We give everyone a chance to speak, and try to listen deeply to what everyone has to say. We listen for what God is telling us, in our own hearts and through each other. We look for a way forward that is loving, honest, respectful, and creative. We each try to let go of our own agenda and objectives, and look for how the Spirit is leading the community as a whole. If there is deep disagreement, we do not take action. Only when the meeting reaches a “sense of unity” do we feel free to proceed.