The bedrock of the Quaker way is the silent meeting for worship. We seek a communal gathered stillness, where we can be open to inspiration from the spirit of God and find:
During our meeting for worship some may feel moved to speak, something anyone can do, as all are considered equal. Quakers do not have priests, or a hierarchy, as we believe all people can have a direct relationship with God.
You do not have to be a Quaker to attend Quaker meetings, which are open to all. If you would like to join us and share in our stillness you would be most welcome.
Here in Bury St Edmunds, there are usually 30 or so of us together on a Sunday morning, between 10.30 and 11.30a.m., often including a visitor or two. In a typical meeting four or five people will be moved to speak. Occasionally the whole hour passes in silence, which can be a powerful experience if the Meeting is truly ‘gathered’, as Quakers put it.
We also meet in silence on Tuesdays, 1.00 – 1.30pm. Why not bring your sandwiches and join us in a cup of tea or coffee before or after this meeting?
‘Afterthoughts’ represents a transition period between Meeting for Worship and Notices, when we hope the Meeting, though perhaps no longer at that depth of spiritual togetherness for which we use the term ‘gathered’, is nevertheless just emerging from it and is still spiritual in mood. At that stage we have found that the inspiration of the Meeting (its spoken and/ or its silent ministry) can find a further outlet in brief contributions that clearly arise from it, and are presented in the spirit of ministry, though with much shorter gaps between. ‘Afterthoughts’ should not present completely new subjects, should not stray into material better kept to Notices, and should not be presented, or received, in such an informal manner as to break the still continuing spiritual mood of the main Meeting. They may well represent ‘near-ministry’ that for one reason or another was not quite given during the Meeting.