About Quakers

Who are we?

Quakers are a group of ordinary people who try to find space in our lives for the things that really matter. We aim to put our faith into action. Quaker Meetings offer a welcoming place where we can seek insight, inspiration, and guidance. As Quakers, we believe that everyone is equal.

There are around 450 Quaker Meetings in Britain. You do not need to be a member to come along to a Quaker Meeting; anyone is welcome to attend and to take an active part in the life of the Meeting.

Meeting for Worship

Meeting for Worship is central to Quakers. We meet together in silent worship, which helps us to become aware of the ‘still small voice’ within each one of us. In the quiet we look for a sense of connection: this might be within ourselves, with those around us, or perhaps with God.

As we are drawn together in the shared stillness, some of those present at the Meeting may feel called to share a helpful thought that arises from within them, or to read from Quaker Faith & Practice or another text such as the Bible. We call this ‘ministry’. Anyone can give ministry, including visitors.

The Meeting for Worship usually lasts for an hour and begins when the first Friends enter the room. The Meeting ends when two Elders shake hands. The Clerk, who is responsible for administrative matters, then reads out any notices. These reflect the wide range of interests and activities that Friends are involved in – nationally, internationally, and locally.

What do we believe?

Central to our beliefs is the idea of ‘that of God’ in everyone. We have respect for all creation and believe that the spirit is accessible to each and every one of us.

We are more concerned with the truth behind words than any formal statement of beliefs. We don’t have creeds, outward sacraments, or any ministers.

Quakers believe in ‘faith in action’ and we are well known for our contribution to international peace and social work. Throughout the past 350 years, Quakers have been pioneers in, amongst other things, education and penal reform. We try to live truthfully, simply, and sustainably.

None of us would claim to have all the answers or would pretend that we don’t often fail. We do believe, however, that our continual search for that of God in both ourselves and others gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

Our testimonies

Quaker values are often called ‘testimonies’. Our testimonies encourage us to work towards a more equal, peaceful, truthful, and sustainable world, with our actions coming out of our beliefs.

Equality and justice

Quakers believe everyone is equal; this inspires us to try to change systems that cause injustice. It also leads us to work with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners of conscience and asylum seekers. We campaigned for independent juries in the seventeenth century, marriage equality in the twenty-first century, and a range of things in between.


Our peace testimony comes from our belief that love is at the centre of existence and that all human life is of equal worth. It has led Quakers to refuse military service and to work creatively for peace.

Truth and integrity

Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, and we connect most deeply to this in the stillness of worship. This means speaking the truth at all times and being guided by integrity.

Simplicity and sustainability

Quakers are concerned about excess and waste in our society. We try to live simply and to find space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, and our experience of stillness.