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Caring for our Quaker community

Related pages: Quaker Life

The Religious Society of Friends is organised into local meetings, each of which should be a community. It is our search for God's way that has drawn us together.
(Quaker Faith and Practice, 10.03).

Here are some of the things we do to sustain the life and witness of our Society:

  • Through the Quaker Life Network, we offer practical advice, training and pastoral care for people who work with, and for, Quaker meetings
  • We run National Quaker Week, and look at other ways to make our presence known more widely (see Outreach pages);
  • We publish Quaker News to keep our supporters informed of the range of work in the care of Britain Yearly Meeting;
  • We provide practical support and guidance about issues like safety for children and vulnerable adults.

Supporting people

Quaker Life exists to equip Quaker meetings in Britain to meet their potential as sources of "love, support, challenge, practical help and a sense of belonging" for members and attenders, and as communities embodying and living out Quaker values in today's world.

Spotlight on: Journeys in the Spirit
We began publishing Journeys in the Spirit, a resource pack for work with children and young people, in spring 2007, to help Quaker meetings work with children and young people. Within months, each edition was being sent to hundreds of subscribers!

Journeys in the Spirit provides themes and ideas for children's work. Covering a different topic each month, it supports Quakers working to help children develop a sense of spirituality and of Quaker values. We seek to learn from children by encouraging, affirming and listening to them; and to nurture them as they grow into individuals. To see previous issues of Journeys in the Spirit, click here.

Sustaining our heritage

Britain Yearly Meeting also cares for the Society's physical heritage. Swarthmoor Hall in Cumbria is the "birthplace of Quakerism" and remains under our stewardship. In London, Friends House blends old and new: we are beginning to create a Quaker Centre there, a public face for Quakerism in Britain, and this will sit alongside the Friends House Library, the most important collection of Quaker-related material in the world.

Spotlight on: Unlocking our past: Friends House Library
The Library at Friends House holds material relating to Quaker history as far back as 1673. This remarkable collection is a unique legacy, tracing the whole history of Quakerism. We seek to preserve this inheritance, and to make it more accessible to the outside world: to unlock the past and tell untold Quaker stories.

Part of this involves cataloguing the Library's items and making this catalogue available online, so that people can know what resources and treasures the Library holds. 30,000 items remain to be added to public catalogues. In 2008-09, the work focuses on the Peace collection: books and items relating to the Quakers' famous commitment to peace over the centuries. Different periods and topics wil be covered over the next few years until we have fully unlocked the collection, making it a resource for researchers, students and the public. Visit our Library page for more information.