I went to my first Quaker meeting this morning.Last November, following the Anglican Church’s vote against allowing women bishops, I declared that: “As for me, I think this marks the end of my time worshipping in the Anglican Church. A separate, personal, lonely journey starts today”.
Since then, I’ve spent part of my Sunday mornings pouring over various books rather than joining Moira at St Mary Redcliffe church. At the start of the year, I made a list of 52 “things-to-do” for 2013 (yes, I know…!) – and one of them was “experience Quaker meeting”. The trouble is that I’m really good at list-making, but not particularly good at putting my intentions into action. It’s strange how these things happen but, a few days ago, our lovely friend Gareth made a chance remark that she’d been to a Quaker meeting the previous Sunday and intended to go again. So, today, I took the opportunity of accompanying her to our local Bedminster Meeting House in Wedmore Road.
It proved to be a fascinating and fulfilling experience and I was made to feel very welcome. I certainly intend to attend other meetings fairly regularly over the coming months.
In my current “nomadic” spiritual state, it felt like a very good place to be… both challenging and reassuring… a sort of comforting harbour on my somewhat choppy journey.
PS (in case you know nothing about the Quakers, these are some extracts from various leaflets in my welcome pack): Quakers is “a small group of some 25,000 worshippers in the UK… meetings are based on silence: a silence of waiting and listening… Quakers share a way of life rather than a fixed set of beliefs… Our understanding of faith is that true fulfilment comes from attempting to live life in the spirit of love, truth and peace, and by seeking and acknowledging that of God in everyone.” Key aspects: truth and integrity; simplicity; justice, equality and community; and peace.