The Quakers

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The Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes are managed by our trustees, who are all members of the Religious Society of Friends also known as The Quakers.

The majority of our residents, and currently all of our staff members, are not Quakers, but they all value the Quaker ethos, which we have outlined here. 

Quakers do not have a fixed creed and believe that there is something of God in everybody and they value all people equally. They work actively to make this a better world, guided by principals including equality, peace, truth, justice and simplicity.

The Quaker beginnings

The Quaker movement started in 1652 after the English Civil War when many people wanted a new social order and the right to worship as they chose. As a result of the preaching of people such as George Fox, James Naylor and William Penn, Quakers devised a form of worship without churches or priests which is based on meeting in silence.

 

At first this was illegal, and many Quakers were assaulted, fined and imprisoned. However, their uncompromising search for honesty in all aspects of their lives resulted in their reputation as honourable tradesmen, and many successful businesses have their origins in the Quaker movement: confectioners Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry’s, Clarks shoes, Lloyds and Barclays banks, matchmakers Bryant & May, Huntley & Palmers and Carr’s biscuits, and many more. In addition to these businesses, historically Quakers are also known for their anti-slavery work, prison reform and for their peace testimony.

Quakers today

The most distinctive thing about Quakers is the way they worship. Quakers initially gather in silence to seek God’s presence. Anybody may speak, maybe about something that has been concerning them, something that has happened to them or perhaps to read something from the Bible. It is hard to define a ‘typical meeting’, but perhaps three or four people will speak during the course of the meeting, usually for no more than two minutes each.

Quakers do not have a creed or formal set of beliefs as they say these could never encompass the fullness of the mystery of God. However, they have a number of well-loved phrases which give some idea of their faith. 

 

  • Quakers talk of seeing “that of God” in everyone

  • Quakers are encouraged to “know one another in the things which are eternal” 

  • Quakers try to be “open to new light from whatever source it may come”

Quaker meetings at the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes

We hold a Quaker meeting each Sunday. Everyone is very welcome, but there is no expectation that anyone has to go. 

 

Kindly note, Quakers do not receive priority when they apply to become a resident at the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes.

To learn more about Quakers go to Quakers in Britain.