The largest Quaker Meeting ever held?

Quakers and their meetings across the country joined more than 300 people worshipping at Friends House in London on Sunday in a huge meeting for worship.

Woman standing at podium
Rosie Carnall, photo credit: Quakers in Britain

The all-together meeting for worship, held as part of the annual gathering of Quakers, began with a poem written by young Quakers aged 11-18, facilitated and read out by Rosie Carnall, and heard by meetings across the country.

The poem was read in meeting houses upholding Yearly Meeting in spirit, ensuring the voice of young people was heard even where Quakers did not join online.

"It's secret friend hugs and the hokey-cokey at sunrise," the poem begins, ending:

"If you have no hope, how can you believe change is possible?
What do you hope for?

Faith;

Community;

Action."

Seventy-eight meetings and hundreds of individual Quakers joined the large blended meeting to hear ministry from Totnes to Forest Hill to Aberdeen, all connected to Friends House via Zoom, which worked well despite a couple of minor glitches.

Quakers felt upheld and connected to one another, despite the miles between them, and gave thanks for the "wonderful experiment".

One described watching videos of the universe, concluding: "Seeing the universe's magnificence make my worries feel very insignificant and the love I feel for other people feel very significant."

Clerk of Yearly Meeting, Siobhan Haire, said: "I can't say it is the biggest meeting for worship ever, because we don't know that, so I won't say that, but it is a very large multi-location meeting."

Read the young Quakers' poem here