Welcome to the website: Quakers in Kent

Our two purposes with this website

  • If you are just discovering Quakers and are keen to know more, or if you are a Quaker visiting Kent, we hope that this website makes it easy for you to find answers to such questions as:

– What is a Quaker?
– What goes on in a Quaker meeting, and what kind of experience is it?
– If I want to get in touch, whom can I contact?
– Where is there a Quaker meeting near me?

… as well as anything else you want to know about Quakers in general or about Quakers in Kent specifically. You are welcome to browse across the website.

  • If you already attend a local Quaker meeting this website offers you an online forum in which you can share and discuss with other local Quakers:

your thoughts, questions, ideas, feelings, news, and current sources of inspiration.

In order to participate in this way, you are invited to register in advance, and to log in whenever you wish to engage. You will be able to browse across the website whether or not you log in, but participation is possible only by logging in.

How to find what you are looking for

How to find what you are looking for

It’s very easy … it works on a computer, smart phone or tablet. The website has many pages. At the top of each page is a main menu of links to other pages:

Simply scroll over, or click, or touch the main menu and one of the links. Most pages, like this one (see below), also have alternative links within the text.

Examples of what you can find

You can get a feel of the atmosphere in a Quaker Meeting, by picking one of the places listed in the drop-down menu under Quaker Meetings in Kent, and then clicking the link to In Our Own Words. Here you can read what current members are saying about it.

If you are keen to know what Quakers are currently thinking, and how they are discussing some of the things that matter to them, go to the Written Word section. Here you can read thoughtful articles and book reviews by local Quakers.

If you already attend a Local Meeting, you are warmly invited to participate in discussion with other members of your Local Meeting. To do this, navigate to the sub-site for your Local Meeting: each Local Meeting has a sub-site listed under Quaker Meetings in Kent. When you hover the mouse cursor over the name of your Local Meeting, a menu to the right displays all the web pages that belong to the sub-site. One of those pages is entitled Discussion Forum. You will be required to sign in. It would be wonderful were you to join in.

New material is frequently added to this website. If you have something you would like to contribute, please contact the Web Manager (contact details to be supplied).

What are Quakers? What is the Quaker way?

Quakers began to come together several centuries ago, around the time of the English Civil War. Historically based within Christianity, for many Quakers today their faith remains a fully Christian faith. However, even from the earliest days, Quakers have also respected and embraced people of other religions and of none. Each and every Quaker is free to believe what makes sense to them. What Quakers share in common is a sense of the centrality of ‘faith in action’.

The Quaker way tends to affect the whole of one’s life, leading each person to try to live in a simpler and more sustainable manner, and to live out their vision of a more just and peaceful world. Some Quakers, perhaps many, believe that all life is a sacrament, and many experience Quakers as their spiritual home.

Quakers take a share in responsibility for the Quaker Meeting (the congregation), and for the Meeting for Worship. During a Meeting for Worship, Quakers sit together, waiting in silence, listening for ‘that of God within’. Should anyone feel led to speak, they stand and give what is known as ‘ministry’. At the end of the Meeting, Quakers shake hands as Friends.

Introduction to ‘Faith in Action’

For Quakers, the primary currency of faith is not words but action. The action can be in how a person chooses to live their life, including the kind of work that they do, their use of leisure time, and their use of resources; or in helping other people to live their lives, perhaps by their choice of occupation, or through volunteering; or by helping to change aspects of society and the world, by means of witness (such as letter writing campaigns, vigils and participating with people of other faiths), and by charitable projects and supporting charitable organisations. Indeed, for some Quakers, it is important to try to live out all three approaches. There are many people of different faiths who live their life in this way, but there are few, if any, other faiths for which this is the defining characteristic. 
 
In support of these ideas, Quakers have several ‘testimonies’ that relate to ‘faith in action’. It should be recognised that these Testimonies are not creeds, and are less concerned with the precise form of words used so much as the action that springs from personal spiritual experience.