come from all faiths
Quakerism is almost 400 years old. It's the common name for the Religious Society of Friends. It grew out of the religious turbulence that followed the English reformation, in protest at a time when Church of England attendance was compulsory.
Norwich Meeting House
Quakers today come from all faiths and traditions, united in our belief that there is something transcendent and precious in every person.
Different Quakers use different words to describe this, but we all believe we can be in contact with it and encounter something beyond our individual selves.
View a Quaker history time-line here: www.quaker.org.uk/times
Learn more about Quakers here: www.quakersintheworld.org
We’re still collecting the collective and individual stories of our Quaker heritage so watch these pages for additions in the future. We planning to include narrative from all parts of the Norfolk & Waveney area as well as more widely!
From the early days of Quakers baptism and confirmation into the church of England was obviously not part of the tradition, so burial on consecrated ground was neither possible or desired by most Quakers. This led to land being purchased for burial grounds. In Norwich, the burial ground is adjacent to the Gildencroft Quaker Meeting House, now no longer regularly used by Quakers.
There is a rich narrative of Quakers in Norfolk & Waveney whose lives spoke of their beliefs and determination to bring about change or pushed against the societal constraints of their times to live the lives they wanted to live.
Three of them are Elizabeth Fry, Amelia Opie & Harriett Martineau. Find out about them here:
Elizabeth Fry reading to the prisoners at Newgate, 1893
Gerald Littleboy, 1945
In its history the Society of Friends has produced many people whose lives of conspicuous service have profoundly influenced their times. John Woolman, Elizabeth Fry, Joseph Sturge and many others would have made for themselves no claim to a special dedication to service, but they were none the less able, out of the depth of their love for their fellows, to take great opportunities that came to them. Their service sprang directly out of their religious faith, but this faith was itself stimulated and fostered by the religious atmosphere in which they lived. To this atmosphere the lives of many Friends, now nameless and unknown, contributed by their faithfulness in inconspicuous service, and so made it possible for the greater spirits to grow to their full stature.