The Quakers have developed
from strong Christian roots. However, personal experience and action
have always been more important then dogma. Membership is by commitment,
and all are invited to participate in the life of the meeting according
to their talents. Rituals and sacraments do not play a part in our
worship; we do not have a creed, and are open to a wide variety
of beliefs. We often use different words and images - such as light,
Spirit, love - to help us in our interpretation, acceptance and
understanding of God. We believe also that we are enriched by other
religions beyond our Christian heritage.
Some central beliefs hold
us together as a religious community: there is that of God in everyone;
each person can have a direct, personal
relationship with God which is nurtured by worship based on silent
waiting; there is no need for a priest or a minister as a mediator.These
beliefs lead us to strive for:
- The equality of all human beings,
- Simplicity in our worship and in our
way of life,
- Social justice,
- The right to freedom of conscience,
- A sense of shared responsibility for
the life of our communities and the integrity of creation.
We sometimes refer to these as Quaker testimonies.