Letters - 20 September 2019

From 'Primitive Quakers' to

‘Primitive Quakers’

Friends in Christ, the small body often called ‘Primitive Quakers’, recently held their Yearly Meeting. A concern was raised, about a Friend’s feelings of identity as a Christian and a Quaker, since she resigned from her local Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) group. ‘Am I still a Quaker?’ she asked. An emphatic ‘Yes’ was our answer, as we have recognised gifts of eldership in her.

It has never been our concern to ‘poach’ members from BYM. We have no formal membership, our doors are simply open to all. Many people who have approached us retain membership of Meetings within BYM. Nevertheless we are separate. We link to the Christ who was before all denominations were; it is on him we wait, and him we know in our Meetings. We respect old Quaker ways but do not exist to preserve them, except as they may serve Christ’s purpose here and now. We are in that ‘here and now’, and in the eternity that is God’s.

It says in the most recent issue of The Call, our quarterly journal: ‘To breathe is to pray. To have a heartbeat is to pray. To stand up is to stand in the presence of God. To work or to rest is to do so in the presence of God.’

When we meet for worship, sitting together in waiting silence, there is such joy in hearts, such peace, for we meet in that Presence. Our doors are open to anyone who is led to us – come freely, and accept what we share freely with you. Our website is at https://plainquakers.org.

Paul Thompson
Clerk at the time of Friends in Christ Yearly Meeting

Foundations undermined

I wholeheartedly agree with the points raised by Rex Ambler (30 August) and feel that the current trend towards ‘management’ bypassing Meeting for Sufferings is the inevitable outcome of the structure of a board of trustees being imposed upon us by the Charity Commission.

For the sake of the financial savings enabled by having charitable status, I believe that one of the very foundations of the Society, our unique Quaker business method, is gradually being undermined.

Irene Ridgeon

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