Exploring priesthood

John Peirce writes about the Quaker notion of priesthood

A Quaker Meeting in London in the early 1770s). | Photo: Engraving by Bernard Picard (1673-1733).

When early Friends affirmed the priesthood of all believers it was seen as an abolition of the clergy; in fact it is an abolition of the laity. All members are part of the clergy and have the clergy’s responsibility for the maintenance of the meeting as a community…

- Quaker faith & practice 11:01

In the early part of 2017 I was encouraged by a Friend to apply for an Eva Koch Scholarship. I had been wrestling for some time with trying to understand the essential nature of priesthood – as distinct from its usual manifestation as being a job, profession or calling as vicar of a parish or minister of a church, a chaplain of a hospital or prison and so on. Since coming to Quakers I was concerned to know better what we mean by the ‘priesthood of all believers’.

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