Quakers: More information

dsc00470aWhat are Quakers?

We are a group of ordinary people whose official name is the Religious Society of Friends. Quakers share a way of life, not a set of beliefs.

We value individual, direct experience of the Divine. We are enriched by the variety of experience and of faith that make up our Meetings.
We believe each person is uniquely valuable and there is something of God in everyone. This is a divine spark to be nurtured and protected.
We are more concerned with the truth behind the words than the formal statements of belief.
Quakerism has its roots in Christianity, but emphasises individual experience over creeds, and embraces expressions of the spirit of love and truth in other religious traditions, in secular sources and in people’s lives.

What happens in Meeting for Worship?

We meet together for worship based on silent waiting, in which we seek to come nearer to one another and to God. The Meeting for Worship begins as soon as anyone sits down in silence. Occasionally a meeting will pass in total silence. The silence may be broken by anyone who feels compelled to speak, pray or read. Such a contribution, if prompted by the spirit, enriches the gathered worship of the meeting.

No two Quaker Meetings are the same and a meeting can embrace a wide range of experience.

Everyone is welcome: Christians, those from other faiths and from none. In Sheffield Central Meeting, the children join us about 10 minutes before the end of our Meeting for Worship.

ministry

The Meeting for Worship lasts about an hour, then an elder closes the meeting by shaking hands with their neighbour. The clerk will then welcome visitors and newcomers, and invite them to join us for tea and coffee and read out any notices for the week.

When you first come to a Meeting for Worship, ask for the Leaflet “Your First Time in a Quaker Meeting?”

Come along to one of our meetings – you will be very welcome.

How are Quaker meetings organised?

There is no paid minister/vicar/pastor. There are various roles within the meeting such as clerk, assistant clerk, elders and overseers.

We have a committee (called the Nominations Committee) who meet to consider very carefully who might be able to fulfil these roles. Then individuals are appointed to serve in that capacity for a fixed term – usually 3 years, sometimes 6 years. Then there will be a complete change. This means that Quakers will be able to serve the meeting in a variety of ways during their life in the meeting.

There are other committees, with specific roles, such as a finance committee and a committee to plan and organise activities for children and young people.

Are there other activities?

Sheffield Quakers are involved in a large number of other activities, both directly spiritual, such as

Meditation

Soul Work

Sustainability

Spiritual Friendship Groups

and also recreational/social, such as…

Book group

Art group

Walking group

History group

We also have a fine library with books, periodicals and pamphlets on Quaker and general religious and spiritual themes.

More information will be added here in due course.
NB. You can click on any word (or phrase) which appears above in red, to obtain more information.