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Ditchling Quaker Meeting
East Gardens, Ditchling, Sussex BN6 8ST
Quakerism has only one fundamental belief:
"that there is that of God* in every person."
This is the foundation for all Quaker Testimonies (the ways we try to live our lives). The testimonies that Quakers (Friends) are best known for are: Peace, Social Justice, Penal Reform.The other testimonies are Equality, Simplicity, Truth, and the Integrity of Creation.
Quakerism offers a spiritual context and some guiding principles, which often lead to robust, imaginative approaches. The response to evil and injustice is to continue searching for "that of God" in the people and in the situation, so that the potential for good becomes possible. Whatever the particular response, it comes (hopefully) from a sound spiritual base. Quakerism is a way of "seeking the Truth" and early Quakers were known as "Seekers". More Quaker Values.
The name "Quaker" was first used in 1650, when George Fox was brought before Justice Bennet of Derby on a charge of blasphemy. According to Fox's journal, Bennet "called us Quakers because we bid them tremble at the word of God", a scriptural reference (e.g., Isaiah 66:2, Ezra 9:4). Therefore, what began apparently as a way to make fun of Fox's admonition by those outside the Society of Friends became a nickname that even Friends use for themselves.
There are many websites about Quakerism
and you can explore them at your leisure but in the end
Quakerism comes down to the experience of what has sometimes
been called "the simple fact of Quaker worship" and this may be
easier to experience than to describe.
We worship in silence, this is not a passive silence, it is a "waiting on the 'Spirit'", however each of us may define that Spirit. Sometimes a Meeting for Worship will pass in complete silence but often someone will feel 'moved' to share something briefly with the Meeting. And yes it isn't easy to sit for a whole hour if you haven't done it before. It is sometimes hard for those of us who have done it many times! There are always books you can read on the table in the centre of the Meeting for Worship, usually a Bible and “Quaker Faith & Practice",a Quaker book which contains Advices & Queries and many Quaker sayings and stories. (If you don't feel you can manage the whole hour just go outside quietly - no-one will mind... but do stay around so we can meet you afterwards.)
It isn't for everyone but if you would like to share in this experience you will be most welcome to join us for Meeting for Worship on a Sunday morning. You may like to have a chat with one of us first, in which case drop us an Email with your name and phone number and times it would be convenient for someone to 'phone. Or it may be that another Meeting House is more convenient for you.