What to expect when you come to Meeting for Worship
You will be welcomed as you come in by one of us. You then go into the Meeting House and sit where you like. The chairs or benches are usually arranged in a circle or a rectangle and there will be a table in the middle with flowers and some books, usually a copy of the bible and Quaker Faith and Practice, a book of Quaker writings and guidance.
There is no pre-arranged service or appointed minister. We wait together in silence to find peace of mind and to become aware of the inner and deeper meaning of our individual and corporate lives. We gather in silence together, listening to the promptings of love and truth in our hearts and seeking the presence of God.
The meeting usually lasts for one hour and may be silent but often a Friend is moved to speak, we call it to minister which may be a reference to their own thoughts or experiences that they wish to share or may be a reading that has inspired them. Anyone present may speak, regular attender or first time visitor. We ask that you keep such ministry short, a few minutes at most and to allow a time for reflection before someone else speaks. If possible try to receive the ministry positively and to seek the underlying truth of what has been said. We do not encourage a dialogue to ensue.
If children are present they often leave after 10 minutes for their own activities.
The silence may seem strange at first but don’t worry. Try to be quiet in mind, body and spirit. There is often a very powerful sense of peace and togetherness in the meeting.
The end of meeting will be signified by two people, usually elders, shaking hands. You may offer to shake hands with those immediately around you. The clerk may have some announcements to make about forthcoming event or news of members not present.
You are invited to stay for tea or coffee and a chat afterwards. We always warmly welcome visitors. Feel free to ask questions, take leaflets that may be available or borrow a book from the library.
Nothing will be expected of you. If you feel that the meeting was right for you, you may want to come again but no one will expect you to come regularly or make any commitments. Everyone, whether new or regular attenders, brings something special to the meeting by just being there. We value your presence.