Welcome to Quaker faith & practice online

This book of Quaker faith and practice is an attempt to express Truth through the vital personal and corporate experience of Friends. It is largely composed of extracts: a fitting way of expressing the breadth of Quaker theology. It also describes the current structures of Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

‘To Quakers, the visible mark of being a ‘church’ is not conformity to a particular creed, or liturgical or sacramental practice, but the quality of communal life which reveals the extent of the community’s willingness to seek and follow the Spirit’s call to loving fellowship…

‘The book is a treasure-house of psychological and spiritual wisdom… At best, there is an honesty, a toughness and a tenderness that is powerfully impressive.’

Rosemary Hartill, The Tablet

‘The book’s great strength is that it achieves its purpose of expressing the ‘soul’ of the Quakers… If you want to know what Quakers have said about ageing, AIDS and atonement or about tithes, tobacco and torture, not to mention hundreds of other topics, you will find some illuminating answers here.’

Neil Dixon, Methodist Recorder

Reading Quaker faith & practice

You are invited to read Quaker faith & practice alongside other Quakers in Britain Yearly Meeting. For more details of this project, please visit the Reading Quaker faith & practice page

Changes to Quaker faith & practice since the 5th edition was published

Amendments to Quaker faith & practice can be agreed by Yearly Meeting in the years between new editions of the book being published. This website contains the most up-to-date version of the text.

Chapter 16: Changes to chapter 16 – Quaker marriage procedure – were approved by Yearly Meeting 2015.

The changes to this chapter reflect legislation permitting same-sex marriage in England and Wales from March 2014 and in Scotland from December 2014. Friends understand marriage to be equally available to same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

The word “overseer” has traditionally been used by Quakers to describe Friends who are responsible for pastoral care. After consultation, in 2022 Meeting for Sufferings asked all area meetings to use another word or phrase because the traditional one has often been associated with the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and other forms of oppression. In this edition of Quaker faith & practice, there are many references to “overseer” and “oversight”. Quaker faith & practice is currently being revised and, while we wait for it, we trust that readers will bear in mind our firm intention to remove the word as soon as we can. Older quotations may need some explanatory text where editing would be inappropriate.