About

What are Quakers?

"Quaker" is a popular name for a member of the Religious Society of Friends, whose members are also known as "Friends". Quakerism is as much a way of living as much as a denomination or faith and you will find people from a wide range of different backgrounds. It is our Quaker way of worshiping and of trying to live faithfully to our Quaker testimonies that unites us.

Our religious insights, attitudes and practices together form a way of life. We have the conviction that each of us can have direct experience of the Spirit of God and we seek to respond to that of God in everyone. Quakers also share a commitment to our testimony to peace, truth, equality, and simplicity. Quaker testimony is not just about holding these values to be important; it is about a way of living our lives and of acting in the world.

The bedrock of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship. We seek a communal gathered stillness, where all can be open to inspiration from the Spirit of God. During our meetings for worship some may feel moved to speak: this is something anyone can do, as all are considered equal. Meetings at Newark are held every Sunday at 10.30am and every second and fourth Wednesday lunchtime at 12 noon and are open to all.

The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the life of and teachings of Jesus and in the Bible. Friends also find meaning and value in the teachings of all Faiths and acknowledge that ours is not the only way.

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Sharing our experience

Our focus is on experience rather than written statements of belief and our collective experience is shared in the book Quaker Faith and Practice, 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 we are all open to new light and that our understanding of truth moves on.

Our sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together. Quakers do not have priests, or a hierarchy, as we believe all people can have a direct relationship with God.

Peace

Perhaps Quakers are best known for our peace testimony. This derives from our conviction that love is at the heart of existence and all human beings are equal in the eyes of God, and that we must live in a way that reflects this. It has led Quakers to refuse military service, and to become involved in a wide range of peace activities from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to the development of alternatives to violence at all levels from personal to international. 

Justice, Equality and Community

Quakers recognise the equal worth and unique nature of every person. This means working to change the systems that cause injustice and hinder true community. It also means working with people who are suffering from injustice, such as prisoners and asylum seekers..

Truth and Integrity

Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, which we believe comes from God. This means speaking the truth to all, including people in positions of power. Integrity is the guiding principle we set for ourselves and expect in public life.

Simplicity

Quakers are concerned about the excesses and unfairness of our consumer society, and the unsustainable use of natural resources. We try to live simply and to give space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, our experience of God. 

Earth and Environment

‘We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.

Advices and Queries 42.