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.