Against the backdrop of 2018 Britain Yearly Meeting Paul Parker, Quaker recording clerk, spoke about the evolving language of Quaker Faith and Practice on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
The interview focussed on the right language for talking about religious experience. Paul explained that Quakers believe that you have to have spiritual experiences for yourself, and that’s what we connect to in a Quaker meeting. “We don’t try to impose a particular set of beliefs on people; that’s one of the things that makes us distinctive. My experience is that you sink down into that silence and connect with something,” he said.
You can hear the interview here (starts at 49:50). and you can follow Paul Parker on Twitter: @RCquaker
Friends House put out a background media briefing on Yearly Meeting Gathering and the deliberations about our book of discipline. Full text is here; (extract below):
In the stillness of worship, Quakers often read from this anthology of spiritual wisdom, guidance and advices and queries. They listen and reflect on the experience of Quakers, from the 1600’s to recent years. They can read the first hand accounts of Quakers who were imprisoned for their faith three centuries ago.
Regular revision and being open to new truths is part of who Quakers are as a religious society. Quakers compiled the first of these books of discipline in 1738. Since then, each new generation of Quakers has revised the book. A new revision may help it speak to younger Quakers and the wider world.
The decision was taken yesterday at the annual gathering of the Quaker church. More than one thousand Quakers crowded into Friends House in London. They included around 200 children and young people who were discussing the same topics as the adults.