Voices of Kingston Quakers

“I initially came [to Quakers] because I was going through a rather arid spiritual time and Meeting for Worship in Kingston was wonderfully healing. I continue to come as I enjoy companionship on my spiritual journey. It provides me with friendship, challenge (to live my life according to my/our principles), and a real sense of love and community. I was concerned about peace, equality, simplicity and truth all my life and it was a joy to find others even more passionate and striving to live by these testimonies.“

“I come to the Quaker Meeting because I find there, to quote an early Quaker, ‘love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand’. I come to celebrate such compassion, and its power, and to learn what it requires of me. I come because Quakers accept my unbelief.“

“I’ve been going to Quakers all my life, ever since I was a baby. So I’m very lucky that it has shaped my values and beliefs. There have been periods of my life when I haven’t attended Meeting for Worship, but I’ve always chosen to go back to it. I love the freedom of Quakerism, as well as the structure and discipline that put absolute equality and a closeness to God at the centre of everything we do.“

“I didn’t so much become a Quaker as discover that I am a Quaker – I found that the collection of principles for living I’d arrived at were part of a bigger jigsaw called Quakerism. I was drawn to the belief that there is ‘that of God in every person’ and identified with the testimony to Simplicity. After 20 years of sharing worship with fellow Quakers in Kingston, I’m still adding pieces to the jigsaw.“

“I came to Quakers because I was increasingly having doubts about the faith I had acquired in childhood, though I still retain the need for a regular form of worship. I found a welcome acceptance of doubt and have continued to explore it since. Quakers were the one religious group which could tolerate my views and my husband’s very different ones so we could worship with our children as a family. Above all I found a welcoming community and loving support.“

“My first Quaker Meeting was many years ago. I came because I found the dogmas and certainties of church and chapel unhelpful on the spiritual journey upon which I found myself embarked. Our books of discipline – Quaker Faith & Practice and Advices & Queries – recount the experiences of Friends over three hundred years, and simply offer guidance without hectoring or dogmatism. The heart of the Quaker experience lies for me in the gathering of Friends together in the silence of Meeting for Worship, and the love and trust that can be found there.“

“Growing up in a Quaker family I was encouraged to explore for myself the values and beliefs of other people and faiths, and to consider how they might be relevant to me. I saw and admired the way my parents’ beliefs were expressed directly in their lives, and I often struggled with the dogmatism I encountered elsewhere. For many years I did not feel ready to attend any faith on a regular basis, but when I did I knew I would find a welcome and a spiritual home with Friends.“

“I came to Kingston Quakers because I was searching for a meaningful, sustainable, peaceful way of living in the late 20th and early 21st Century. Companions and fellow seekers are what I found, and Meeting sustains me in leading a spirit-led life of love and joy.“

“I come to Quaker Meetings for:
The silent worship
The community
Why silent worship?
… because it’s a good way to meet God
… because it’s peaceful
… because it’s challenging
… because my questions find an answer
… because anyone may be moved to speak
… because the gathered silence can be amazing
Why the community?
… because Friends are friendly!
… because everybody’s welcome
… because who you are is fine
… because it’s OK to be different
… because Friends support each other
… because Friends are truthful
… because Friends listen
… because everyone is valued“