Quaker Faith and Practice Group

This group meets once a month before Meeting for Worship from 9.30 to 10.20 am and is open to anyone who wishes to come.

Faith and practice group

Faith and practice group

Quaker Faith and Practice is a book that sets out to provide guidance through wide variety of writings, chosen to help us on our spiritual journeys. It consists of advice and counsel and a variety of extracts which encourage self-questioning and hearing each other in humility and love. The book is intended to show the interdependence of our faith and practice and to enrich our lives through the experiences and understandings of others.

The book is available on line at qfp.quaker.org.uk

We also have copies available in our meeting house library.

We read and discuss sections of the book together. We gain much from this as we appreciate a wider and deeper understanding of the writings of Friends with our varying interpretations.

From the part in Chapter 2 on Meeting for Worship the following were some sections that we felt gave some different aspects of this important part of the life of a Quaker meeting:

Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal,

which was before the world was.

((2.35 George Fox, 1657)

A Friends’ meeting, however silent, is at the very lowest a witness that worship is

something other and deeper than words, and that it is to the unseen and eternal

things that we desire to give the first place in our lives. And when the meeting,

whether silent or not, is awake, and looking upwards, there is much more

in it than this. In the united stillness of a truly ‘gathered’ meeting there is a

power known only by experience, and mysterious even when most familiar.

(2.39 1908)

There are times of dryness in our individual lives, when meeting may seem difficult or even worthless. At such times one may be tempted not to go to meeting, but it may be better to go, prepared to offer as our contribution to the worship simply a sense of need. In such a meeting one may not at the time realise what one has gained, but one will nevertheless come away helped.

(2.44 1948)

When meeting for worship begins, I like to look around and see who is there, and this normally leads to a feeling of gratitude for the friendship, warmth, and support I’ve found among Friends. If I know of any difficulties or problems being experienced by anyone present, I would think along these lines. Or perhaps I would think of someone missing from their usual seat, and this might lead me to think of others who were ill, bereaved, anxious or overworked. I might then reflect on my own many and great blessings, and seek direction in using my time and talents. Or I might see someone unemployed, and be led to think of some of our social problems. It’s a sort of chain reaction.

(2.51 1987)

All true ministry springs from the reality of experience, and uses our gifts

of heart and mind in its expression. But ministry is not the place for

intellectual exercise. It comes through us, not from us. Although we interpret

the Spirit it is that Spirit which will lead us to minister. The Spirit will decide

which experiences are relevant and which will speak to the condition

of the meeting. If you have to decide whether it is right to speak,

consider that it isn’t. If your words are important the meeting will find

them anyway.

(2.60 1986)

Ministry is what is on one’s soul, and it can be in direct contradiction to

what is on one’s mind. It’s what the Inner Light gently pushes you toward

or suddenly dumps in your lap. It is rooted in the eternity, divinity, and

selflessness of the Inner Light; not in the worldly, egoistic functions of the

conscious mind.

(2.66 1987)