Quaker faith is a search for truth.
Quakers vary in their beliefs. Many are Christian. Some follow other faiths and there are some who are atheists.
Quakers believe that there is “that of God in everyone". All people can have a connection with God. All people are valuable and should be treated with love and respect.
Quakers have a long history of working for peace, disarmament, prison reform, the abolition of slavery, women's suffrage and much more.
We often sum up Quaker belief and attitudes by telling others about our four 'testimonies' of simplicity, truth, equality and peace.
Quaker values or 'testimonies'
- Simplicity: Quakers try to live simply. We focus on the things that really matter and that bring us closer to God. We focus on the people around us, the natural world and our experience of meeting for worship.
- Truth: we try to live according to the deepest truth we know. We connect most deeply to this in the stillness of worship. We try to always speak the truth and act with integrity. This includes when we are talking to people in positions of power.
- Equality: Quakers believe everyone is equal. Each of us is “a child of God". Nobody is more important than anyone else.
- Peace: we are well known for our peace testimony. It comes from our belief that love is at the centre of existence and that all human life is of equal worth.
Quaker meeting for worship
Most people think of Quakers worshipping in silence. Well… nearly right!
We do meet in silence. In the quiet we wait for a connection. This might be a connection with those around us, with our deepest selves, or with God. We may begin to see the world and our relationships in new ways. During worship somebody may feel moved to speak. This is called 'spoken ministry'.
We listen to the ministry and reflect on its meaning. This helps us decide how we should act in the world, either as individuals or as a group.
Children are valued members of the community. They often have a special meeting or other activity.
After meeting for worship and during the week there may be other activities. Some meet socially or work in groups. The groups may work on local or national concerns. Or they may focus on running meeting.