Membership: do you feel like part of the crew?

I suppose the question to ask is not, why am I applying for membership, but, why not sooner than this? All I can say is that I am not a hasty person. I have been considering applying for at least four years. I have felt myself to be part of Friends for so long that it has shocked me, on occasions, to realise that I am not thought of as ‘one of us’ but rather ‘one of them’. I have come to see that how I perceive myself in terms of commitment and belonging is not necessarily how I am perceived. At times this has made me sad. But I can see that I owe it to Friends to make my position clear. If the Society can be thought of as a ship, I would like to be one of the crew, not a passenger, and to be seen like this.

Quaker Faith & Practice 10.34, Jai Penna, 1989
Child on boat

My sister crewing on the (small) ship we lived on as children

Membership of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) can be a way of expressing your sense of belonging among Friends – as it was for Jai Penna in the passage from Quaker Faith & Practice quoted above. You don’t need to wait four years before applying! Nor does membership necessarily mean doing ‘jobs’ for the Meeting.

Please do consider becoming a member. If you’d like to find out more about routes into membership, or just to talk the idea over, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Equally, if you’re feeling unsure about whether you could belong among Friends or if you’ve felt unwelcome, please do talk to us.

Alistair Paul, Diana Page, Judith Eversley, Katie Evans, Wren Sidhe

Elders, Bath Quaker Meeting

Elders are asked to care for the spiritual life of Friends and our Meeting for a time.

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