Queer Spiritual Spaces
Quakerism is a way of life rather than a set of beliefs. Quakers seek to experience God directly, within themselves and in their relationships with others and the world around them. They meet together for worship in local meetings which are inclusive and open to all. The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity but Quakers also find meaning and value in the teachings of other faiths; acknowledging that theirs is not the only way. Quaker focus is on experience rather than written statements of belief. Their sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together. Quaker faith springs from the belief that each one of us can have a direct relationship with the Divine.
Quakers are sometimes known as the Religious Society of Friends and often refer to each other as 'Friends'. The public more commonly refer to them as Quakers. More than twenty seven thousand people attend Quaker meetings for worship in the UK alone.
Since their foundation in the 1600s in England Quakers have tried to make a practical witness to their religious convictions. Quakers are especially active in peace work, human rights and social reform.
I have met with several Friends based in the Meeting Houses in the Sussex region and am currently talking through how to publicise the project.
This case study will set up interviews in Brighton and in London, UK, and in Pennsylvania in the USA. There will also be focus groups involving 6-10 people in each community; these interviews and focus groups will be happening in July and August 2008.
All are welcome. Please get involved. It doesn't matter if you are new to the Society of Friends or were born into the faith, are old or young, are involved in LGBTQ Quakers locally or not. Come along to a focus group — talk to me in the first instance. My details and email address are on the Contact page.