About Us

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, began in seventeenth century England as a reaction to aspects of the established Christian church.
We have no written creed, holding faith to be a matter for the individual, but we seek the truth within ourselves, and the good in everyone.

We make no distinction between clergy and laity, all being free to share in our silence-based worship, in ministry, in pastoral care and in contributing to the community.

Quakers are widely known for their commitment to peace and justice, and for their relief work.

The Quaker Way of Life "Walk cheerfully in the world, answering that of God in everyone…" advice from George Fox (1624-1691), the first of the Quakers.

The insight that there is 'that of God' in everyone has led Quakers to place a special value on truth, equality, simplicity and peace. These four key testimonies, as they are known, have evolved and taken different forms over the years. But they have always been rooted in the search for truth and integrity. 

Quakers have been worshipping in Newcastle without a break since 1698, for most of that time in Pilgrim Street, but since 1961 in the building in Jesmond, and since 2011 at the present building in Gosforth. A history of the Meeting, Beyond the Blew Stone by Ruth Sansbury was published to mark the tercentenary in 1998 and is still available from the meeting house library. The passage of years has seen major changes in the Society, both locally and nationally, but there has been continuity too.

With no ordained clergy or ministers, we are a Do-It-Yourself body. Individual members serve as elders or overseers, take part in business meetings including a variety of committees, provide links with national Quaker activities, or take their turns at practical service such as preparing refreshments. Thus we are a living community of folk who know each other in many ways.

Keynotes include seeking the right course of action together, informality, and enjoying one another's company. This can go much deeper - into supporting one another in times of trouble or distress, or seeking guidance from one another in difficult decisions. At the same time we welcome newcomers and what they have to offer us and possibly gain from us.

We invited a number of members to describe how they came to Quakers, or something of what they value in Quakerism. Click here to read their responses.
We are also strongly linked with the wider local community. Many of us teach in one context or another, and many are engaged in the health or social services, but a variety of other occupations are also represented.

Also in the last few years, members of the Meeting set up a support service for young, homeless people which has met a clear need and has grown through attracting financial support from other sources.

In 2008 the Newcastle Conflict Resolution Network was set up with grants from the Meeting and other sources to help to reduce and resolve destructive conflict within the city. Another current activity is the Green Group who keep before us ways in which we might reduce the damage we inflict on the Earth as we go about our daily lives.

At Newcastle Meeting House we can provide rooms to hire to meet a wide variety of needs in an easily accessible location. Our premises are also used during the week for activities of voluntary and other bodies. A playgroup for both physically-handicapped and able-bodied children, which the Meeting helped to establish, uses a ground floor room every weekday morning. 

 

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The Testimonies