To be a Quaker is to be a member of a religious society which is rooted in Christianity and finds inspiration in the life and teachings of Jesus. But for Quakers, Christianity is not a notion but a way: it is not about creeds but about how we live.
Like other churches, Quakers come together regularly for worship. In Stratford we meet every Sunday morning at 10.30. But in our Meetings for Worship there is no minster or clergy. There is no programme of prayers, readings and hymns. We seek a gathered stillness so that all may feel the power of God’s love.
In the silence we ask for and accept the prayerful support of those we join in worship. We seek a spiritual wholeness which encompasses suffering as well as thankfulness and joy. And we may be prompted to speak or to share a reading with others. Anyone can speak – child, woman or man. Quakers see everyone as equal in the spirit: each one of us is unique, precious, a child of God.
Quakers seek to respect that of God in everyone. We try to make our meeting a community in which everyone is accepted and strangers are welcome. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of others, ready to give help and to receive it, we can be a channel for God’s love.
Quakers also try to bring the world closer to a state that reflects these values. We maintain that war and the preparation for war are inconsistent with the spirit of Christ. We seek to be honest and truthful and to live simply. We do not own the world and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will, so Quakers work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly. We rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.