Quakers in Enfield and beyond
Winchmore Hill Quaker Meeting is one of around 400 Quaker groups across the country. Most of us live in Enfield, or the nearby bits of Barnet and Herts, and we have links to meetings across North London. Most Quakers today were not brought up as Quakers but found it in later life, so we remember what it is like to be a newcomer.
Why do we come to meeting?
Afew years ago 22 people involved in the meeting sent brief quotes about what it meant and what it was like. Their thoughts are here.
What is Quaker worship like?
The centre of the Quaker meeting is our silent meeting for worship. (We use the term meeting for the community and the act of worship.) Without any special leaders, we sit and seek a stillness together. Hard to describe, we enter into communion with each other, the world, and with the divine presence. Sometimes out of this silent unity comes a message – someone may speak, read, pray or even sing. But there is no formal structure, the spirit guides us.
“For me the focused, expectant silence of the meeting was like nothing I’d ever experienced. Birdsong or traffic noises would mingle with the occasional cough, or creak of a seat, within the room. And after perhaps 10 minutes there would be a sense of the silence deepening – like a coastal shelf falling away beneath our feet. A profound, inner stillness would descend as fidgeting diminished and superficial sounds receded into the background.” (The singer Tom Robinson)
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“Quakerism is a way of life that is shaped by a deep commitment to peace, simplicity, truth and equality. This commitment is nourished and rooted in our experience of silent and attentive worship and grows from a belief in the sanctity of all life and that there is something sacred in everyone. For Quakers, the source and inspiration for all we do is in our worship. Week by week, we join together in expectant silence, opening our hearts to the Divine, both beyond and within ourselves.
This helps to shape our relationships and our daily lives, informing our choices and challenging us to live a different kind of life.” (www.quaker.org.uk)