About Quakers

Simple, Radical, Spiritual...


Quaker history in a nutshell

Many in society during the later 17th century were disillusioned with the power and complacency of the established church. It seemed out of touch and too hierarchical. George Fox, one of the founders of Quakers had a vision of a simpler more direct faith, one that had no need of priests to interpret.... A brief history of Quakers 

A few key facts about Quakers

  • Quakerism is rooted in Christianity but today, Quakers are a broad based group who believe that there is something of God (or the divine) in everyone. We seek to 'meet' this in all people and see all humans as equal and deserving of equal treatment and respect.
  • Everyone can access the inner light (God, Spirit, Other..) directly without need of priests, bible or other holy books. We just our own experiences if they are driven by this inner light to be valid. It perhaps explains why we dont share a set of strict beliefs governing our church.     
  • The Quaker experience is that it effects our whole lives. It leads us, individually and together, to work towards a more just and peaceful world, and a more sustainable lifestyle. 
  • Quakers see no need for churches, rituals, holy days, or sacraments, to experience the inner light. Rather faith should be something one lives and acts out every day. 
  • Quakers tend not to be strongly connected to a calendar of feast days. Early Friends didn't celebrate Christmas; most contemporary Quakers see it as part of the year cycle and some may individually feel attached to the Christian message it offers. 
  •  Meeting for Worship is a central part of our practice. Our meetings are based on silent waiting and listening, and the silence can be very moving. Out of this silence someone may feel inspired to speak or read a short passage. These words are brief and may be helpful to others present.
  • At Darlington Quaker Meeting you will find a diverse and welcoming community.  Our official name is the Religious Society of Friends but we are today more commonly known as Quakers or Friends. 


Discover more

Quakers then

George Fox had a vision on top of Pendle Hill in 1650 of a new faith gathering. Many joined him and as non conformists in a society where the established church had ultimate power, these new "Friends of the Truth" were quickly seen as a threat to authority. 

Quakers were persecuted for most of the next 40 years, imprisoned, tortured and even killed for practising their faith.

From earliest times Quakers have followed their conscience on peace, truth, justice and simplicity. Their business sense and integrity led to growth of major firms still known today (though most are not still in Quaker management)

  • Chocolate Quakers :Frys, Cadbury, Rowntrees
  • Banking Quakers: Barclays, Backhouse, Gurney, Lloyds
  • Other firms: Clarks shoes, Huntley & Palmer biscuits etc

William Penn founded Pennsylvania and Quakers are now to be found  worldwide.

Quakers now - out in the world 

Quakers have always felt their faith driving them to act in the world. 

The Core Testimony of Peace, Truth, Simplicity & Sustainability underpins how we respond to issues of society and aim to improve the life of people and planet.

You'll find Quakers at the heart of many national and international causes, out on peace or climate Marches, working locally in Food banks or homeless shelters.


Coming to Quaker worship

A few practical tips (what, where when, how) if you decide to come along to worship with us for first time.