Beliefs

A Way To God 

Quakers share a way of life rather than a set of beliefs.  We seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world around us.  These direct encounters with the Divine are where Quakers find meaning and purpose.

Quaker Spiritual Practice

The bedrock of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship.  We seek a communal gathered stillness, where we can be open to inspiration from the Spirit of God.  During our meetings for worship some may feel moved to speak: something anyone can do, as all are considered equal.  Meetings can be held anywhere, at any time, although they are often on Sundays in our Quaker meeting houses.

Leadership

Quakers do not have priests, appointed ministers, or a hierarchy, as we believe all people can have a direct relationship with God.  All Quakers are entitled to participate in decision-making processes and to help run the Society.  Those with specific roles are asked to serve for limited periods of time, after which, others may take their turn to serve.

Quakers and Christianity

The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus.  Quakers also find meaning and value in other writings and in the teachings of other faiths and acknowledge that ours is not the only way.

Sharing our experience

Our focus is on our experience rather than written statements of belief and our collective experience is shared in Christian Experience and Quaker Faith and Practice.  These books are anthologies of Quaker insights from the founding of the Religious Society of Friends in the seventeenth century to the present day.  They are updated every generation, recognising that our understanding of truth moves on.  There are more than 26 Quaker meetings in Ireland attended by more than 1500 people.  Nearly half a million people worship in Quaker meetings worldwide.  You do not have to become a Quaker to attend Quaker meetings, which are open to all.

Quaker communities 

Quakers meet together for worship and other activities in local meetings.  These are inclusive and open to all.  In our meetings we hope to find acceptance, support, challenge, practical help and a sense of belonging.  Our sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together.

Working for a better world 

Our religious experience leads us to place a special value on truth, equality, simplicity and peace.  These testimonies, as they are known, are lived rather than written.  They lead Quakers to translate their faith into action by working locally and globally for social justice, to support peacemakers and care for the environment.

Further information:

Download a pdf entitled What Friends Believe by Philip Jacob. This article first appeared in the Furrow, Vol XLIV, no 9, September 1993.