Quaker worship (we call it 'meeting for worship') normally lasts for an hour. We enter and sit in stillness and waiting. This stillness gives us space and time to listen and reflect. We don't have songs, set prayers or talks you might find in other places of worship. We know that some people may find the silence uncomfortable, but it can be an opportunity to come closer to God.
We try to be quiet in body, mind and spirit. We don't worship on our own. We look for a sense of connection with those around us, with our deepest selves, with God. As we feel this sense of connection grow stronger, we may begin to see the world and our relationships in a new way. Our worship may take us to a deep place, beyond our own thoughts and ideas and help us respond more creatively to our lives and the world around us.
We believe all people are equal, we can all have a direct relationship with God and anyone can contribute to worship. Quakers do not have priests or anyone leading the worship.
During worship people may feel prompted to speak, pray or read aloud. They may stand to share their insights and inspirations with the meeting. We call this ministry. Ministry can inspire and enrich; we listen in silence and without judgement. It may also prompt others to say something connected to what they have heard.
The Bible and copies of a book called Quaker faith & practice – a collection of writing and experiences of Quakers from our 350-year history – are to hand. We also use a small booklet called Advices & queries; a collection of prompts, insights and questions that Quakers read regularly.
Meeting for worship finishes when two Quakers shake hands. The rest of the meeting joins in by shaking hands with those around them. Someone may then share news and information. After meeting has finished, please approach someone if you want to ask questions about the meeting or anything else about Quakers.
Quaker meetings are open to everyone. You are most welcome and do not need to be a Quaker to attend.