Meeting for worship is the bedrock of living as a Quaker.

The spiritual underpinning in Quaker communities is found within the worshipping community. There is no ordained Quaker ministry and responsibility for spirituality, or eldership, is with role-holders who help guide the community. Read more on how Quakers worship.


Some Friends, whether called elders or not, have been looked to for spiritual counsel from the beginning. So in 1653 William Dewsbury proposed that each meeting should appoint 'one or two most grown in the Power and the Life, in the pure discerning of the Truth' to take responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the meeting and its members.

- Qf&p 12.05 (part)


These pages of the Quaker communities website are to support Friends who hold responsibility for eldership. Close working is required with those Friends are responsible for pastoral care in the community. Look at our page on eldership and pastoral care where much of the information is available.

Find out how Quaker worship is held and the role of eldership within the worshipping community. How do Quakers with eldership responsibility share their experience and learning within their Quaker community? How do those role-holders become appointed to their roles?

Quakers with eldership have a role in helping a person thinking about membership prepare to apply. Find out about the formal Quaker membership process carried out in local Quaker communities.

Friends with eldership responsibility have a role in events in the life of the Quaker community. They support Quaker marriage and Quaker funerals and memorial meetings.

Quaker Life support for area Quaker meetings as worshipping communities is through Quaker Life Representative Council and Quaker Life Central Committee nationally, and the network of development workers locally.