Who are Quakers?
People have different impressions of who the Quakers are, some based on historical fact, some on misconceptions.
Quakers (who are also called 'Friends') live and work in all areas of society, bound by a common thread of trying to live in a way that helps to build a better world.
The Quaker movement began in the middle of the seventeenth century, a time of great turmoil and upheaval in the UK following on from the Civil Wars. It was also a time of social and religious freedom and experimentation. George Fox is considered to be the founding father. After a period of religious searching he had a profound experience of God that set him off on his mission with the message that all can experience God, the inward Christ, as he had. He joined with existing groups of seekers in the north west of England who were already holding meetings in silence, waiting for inspiration from God. The movement grew rapidly, spreading to other countries, in particular parts of North America. It was radical, with its insistence on the spiritual equality of all, refusal to pay tithes or participate in the established church and was viewed as a threat by those in power. After the return of the monarchy in 1660, Quakers were persecuted and banned from meeting. They did continue albeit in smaller numbers and in a much quieter, less public and disruptive way during later centuries. Quakers are still recognised as radical, particularly in their stances on war, truth, equality and simplicity. These all date back to the early days but are confirmed by their personal and corporate spiritual leadings.
There are nearly 500 Quaker meetings in the UK, attended by around 25,000 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 and where everyone is welcome.
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain encompasses the 481 local Meetings for Worship as well as all their work, in Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
This site is intended to tell you a little about Quakers in Salisbury, but we are part of a much bigger Quaker community. You can find much more about Quakers at the following websites:
Quakers in UK
Quaker online bookshop
Quaker Faith & Practice