Quaker beliefs

“Quakers do not share a fixed set of beliefs.

Our unity is based on a shared practice of worship, not on our beliefs all being the same. There is no need to be in unity with Quakers on every issue in order to be part of our meetings.

Many people have a personal understanding of God; often this is based on Christian teachings, or on other religious traditions. Other people are aware of or seek a spiritual environment but would not define it further. Quakers are no different!

There is a great diversity within the Quakers on conceptions of God, and we use different kinds of language to describe religious experience. Some Quakers have a conception of God which is similar to that of orthodox Christians, and would use similar language. Others are happy to use God-centred language, but would conceive of God in very different terms to the traditional Christian trinity. Some describe themselves as agnostics, or nontheists, and describe their experiences in ways that avoid the use of the word God entirely.

Quaker faith is built on experience, and Quakers would generally hold that it is the spiritual experience which is central to Quaker worship, and not the use of a particular form of words (whether that be ‘God’ or anything else.”

The above statement was published on the website of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain  www.quaker.org.uk during 2013 to describe a Quaker approach to belief, language, and experience. We are glad to reproduce it here, as it confirms that the perspectives of the Nontheist Friends Network has an accepted place in British Quakerism, as a Listed Informal Group of Britain Yearly Meeting.

This Nontheist Quakers web site has been created to provide British Quakers who may consider themselves to be atheist, agnostic, or nontheist with a readily accessible source of information about this interesting and growing strand of liberal Quakerism.

5 thoughts on “About”

  1. I am impressed rereading the above, and think I will find £20 to join. I shall be at Warwick for YMG/BYM and think I must do it then.
    One phrase I find missing is “So-called” re word RELIGIOUS in the title of our organisatio. It is an obstacle for me.
    I suspect it is so too for many others ut there for whom the word connects with a lot of negative baggage including conflict and hypocrisy.
    For So many others however it is positive ín it’s multiple connections with other words suspect to me but profoundly meaningful to others, eg Spiritual and Faith


    1. Welcome John
      I believe our treasurer Sarah Siddle, Clerk Gisela Creed, former Clerk Michael Wright and founder member David Boulton will all be at BYMG at some stage and (one of them) delighted to collect your £20! With only a few days to go, everyone please see the details of our upcoming events under EVENTS above.
      PS. John. If you miss them at Warwick, see our Membership page under ‘About’ above.


      1. As a further PS John, as shown on the membership page under ‘About’ our current annual membership fee appears to be just £10. (£20 for couples perhaps?)


  2. I would like to know if there is an online Meeting of non theist Quakers? Since we are few and far between, wouldn’t an online presence/meeting, via Skype, Google, Messenger or other platform be a wonderful thing to have?


  3. Welcome Pamela and I see you are now following the website.
    I would be very interested to see what other members of our Steering Group and members of the Network make of this suggestion.
    I am only familiar with Skype conference calling and not sure about the accessibility of other conferencing programs but the main difficulty would be (for someone) to organise a time for any such online meeting, at what frequency, how to manage it and with what purpose (eg. worship? discussion? Q&A? Readings? etc.).
    More comments here please!


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