Yearly Meeting may plan to revise book of discipline

More than one thousand Quakers from across Britain are heading to London next week for Yearly Meeting. They may decide to re-write Quaker faith & practice. This is the book of discipline that has guided their work and worship across the centuries.

woodcutting like a cartoon of figures in flood
'Crudely Plucking the Strings' Drawing by Swarthmore Lecturer Chris Alton

In the stillness of worship, Quakers often read from this anthology of spiritual wisdom. They listen and reflect on the experience of Quakers, from 1600's to the recent years.


'Quaker faith & practice' has kept us thriving as a church.

- Helen Drewery for Quakers in Britain


Each new generation of Quakers has revised the book. A new revision may help it speak to younger Quakers.

Helen Drewery, head of witness and worship for Quakers in Britain, said, “The book is hugely significant. It inspires us in our lives and sets out our structures and procedures for how we work. It is what has kept us thriving as a church and it is the foundation that enables us to run great campaigns, like changing the law around slavery, conscientious objection and marriage."

The last revision took around ten years to complete and was published in 1995.

The 2018 Swarthmore Lecture on Saturday 5 May will be given by Chris Alton, a life-long Quaker, artist and activist. Through his lecture 'Changing ourselves, changing the world', Chris will share how art can be an act of witness.

The Swarthmore Lecture is part of the work of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. The lecture is one of the associated events traditionally held around Yearly Meeting, the annual decision-making meeting of Quakers in Britain.

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