Roots of Quakerism

Quakerism is a religion that developed in Britain during the 17th century. Following the end of the Civil War, many people were seeking radical change in religion, politics and society, and our Quaker faith was born in this radical context.

The first Quaker, George Fox, believed that each person could form a direct relationship with God, without the need for a preacher or Bible to guide us, and that an element of God existed in all of us. This divine element in every individual is known as the ‘inner light’ (though there are other terms too), and all Quakers seek to deepen their connection with this light, in order to find spiritual guidance as we walk through life. Recognizing that there is an element of God in everyone, Quakers try their best to see this element in other people, and we regard all human beings as equal, and therefore deserving of equal respect and treatment.

Mae gwreiddiau Crynwriaeth mewn Cristnogaeth, ond doedd y Crynwyr cynnar ddim yn gweld yr angen am adeiladau, defodau, na dyddiau sanctaidd penodol i ymarfer eu Crefydd. Yn hytrach, credont y dylai crefydd fod yn rhywbeth y mae pobl yn ei fyw a’i weithredu drwy’r amser yn eu bywydau bob dydd. Roedd syniadau fel hyn yn chwyldroadol yn eu cyfnod, a chafodd nifer o Grynwyr eu herlid a’u carcharu am y daliadau hyn. Gallwch ddarllen mwy am ddatblygiad Crynwriaeth yng Nghymru, yma a darllen yn ehangach am hanes y Crynwyr yma. Rydym yn credu nad oes ‘un ffordd gywir’ i gysylltu â’r goleuni mewnol, ac o’r herwydd maent yn parchu, ac yn agored i, ddysgeidiaethau o grefyddau a thraddodiadau eraill, yn ogystal â Christnogaeth.

Although Quakers do not have a holy book, we do have a book of discipline called ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’. To reflect the diversity and breadth of the Quaker faith, this book is a collection of the testimonies and personal experiences of Friends across Britain. This book is regarded as a living and dynamic document that changes from time to time to reflect the changes in our world, and how Quakers respond to those changes. It is now in its 5th version, with the 6th currently in development.

The whole book can be read online, and there is also a Welsh version of the little red book, ‘Advices and Queries’.

Quakerism is a religion that developed in Britain during the 17th century. Following the end of the Civil War, many people were seeking radical change in religion, politics and society, and our Quaker faith was born in this radical context.

The first Quaker, George Fox, believed that each person could form a direct relationship with God, without the need for a preacher or Bible to guide us, and that an element of God existed in all of us. This divine element in every individual is known as the ‘inner light’ (though there are other terms too), and all Quakers seek to deepen their connection with this light, in order to find spiritual guidance as we walk through life. Recognizing that there is an element of God in everyone, Quakers try their best to see this element in other people, and we regard all human beings as equal, and therefore deserving of equal respect and treatment.

Quakerism has its roots in Christianity, but the early Quakers did not see the need for special buildings, rituals, or holy days to practice their religion. Instead, they believed that religion should be something that should be weaved into the fabric of people’s day to day. Ideas like these were revolutionary in their time, and many Quakers were persecuted and imprisoned for their beliefs. You can read more about Quaker history here,, and about the development of Quakerism in Wales here. Quakers believe that there is no ‘right way’ to connect with God, and as such they respect, and are open to, teachings from other religions and traditions, as well as Christianity.

Although Quakers do not have a holy book, we do have a book of discipline called ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’. To reflect the diversity and breadth of the Quaker faith, this book is a collection of the testimonies and personal experiences of Friends across Britain. This book is regarded as a living and dynamic document that changes from time to time to reflect the changes in our world, and how Quakers respond to those changes. It is now in its 5th version, with the 6th currently in development.

The whole book can be read online, and there is also a Welsh version of the little red book, ‘Advices and Queries’.