About Quakers


Quakers don’t have neat creeds or doctrine.  Instead, we try to help each other work out how we should live. All people are welcome and accepted at a Quaker meeting, and we have no clergy or instruction. Nobody tells you what to think, but if you ask they may well tell you what they think. We share responsibility because everyone has a valuable contribution to make.

Quakers are also known as the Religious Society of Friends.  With roots in Christianity, today we also find meaning and value in other faiths and traditions. We recognise that there’s something transcendent and precious in every person. Different Quakers use different words to describe this, but we all believe we can be in contact with and encounter something beyond our individual selves.

Quaker meetings for worship can be held anywhere, at any time. Every meeting begins in silence, when the first person sits down. We use silence to open ourselves to the wisdom that comes out of stillness. It enriches us and shapes us, individually and collectively. This is what we mean by ‘worship’. The only way to understand this completely is to go to a meeting.


Quaker Values 

Quaker values or spiritual insights are often called ‘testimonies’ and tend to unite Quakers worldwide.  They spring from deep experience and have been reaffirmed by generations.  How we act as Quakers goes together with what we believe.  We don’t have a fixed creed because we have found that the search for truth can lead us to new expressions of values as well as confirming existing ones.

Equality and justice

Quakers believe everyone is equal. This inspires us to try to change the systems that cause injustice and that stop us being genuine communities. It also means working with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners of conscience and asylum seekers. We were campaigning for independent juries in the 17th-century, for marriage equality in the 21st, and for a range of things in between.

Simplicity and sustainability

Quakers are concerned about excess and waste in our society. We want to make sure our use of natural resources is sustainable. 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.



Quakers are perhaps best known for our peace testimony. It 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 work creatively for peace. This has ranged from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to developing alternatives to violence at all levels. This could be personal or international.

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, including to people in positions of power. As we are guided by integrity, so we expect to see it in public life.