10th December 2023
The fifth edition of Quaker Faith and Practice resides next to my sofa, ready for reference and reverence. It is a resource for me to dip in and out of during Worship, Zooms and daily life. Not just for reflection but an attractive comfort with its red cover offering a spark.
It is also known as the Quaker book of discipline. Full of quotes from Friends which help us to understand our lives. It isn’t the Bible, it embraces Quaker values with diversity at its core.
I haven’t read the whole edition yet. The 688 pages are a challenge. But I don’t let this put me off. Some sections I know well as I have discerned actions from them. Perhaps that’s my way of reading the book. Finding time to read has delicately presented itself so I’ll make it an opportunity.
Its wisdom inspires me. I have enjoyed creating slideshow videos of Advices and Queries which are on my YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, Threads and Facebook accounts. Read by me and other Friends it is an ongoing project for me and deeply increases my understanding and inspiration in a visual way. Please do check out my videos and share them. All are made with copyright permission.
Other creative ways I have explored are making videos of Quakers from history speaking their quotes. I use the Index of ‘well-loved phrases’ at the back of Quaker Faith and Practice. These quotes are a rich and varied source of inspiration from Quakers such as George Fox, William Penn, John Woolman and Margaret Fell. These are also available on my social media channels to share and enjoy.
From silent waiting in Worship to prayer and care for one another, Quaker practice is explained. Also, the ways Quakers do things are laid out, such as business, Britain Yearly Meeting purpose, Meeting for Sufferings, Membership, Stewardship, Marriage, and Funerals. In depth details of personal journey, relationships, social responsibility, Quaker testimonies and Leadings invite you to really think deeply and know Quakerism.
In 2023 the new edition is in the process of being created which takes a while. Discerned amongst a dedicated group of Friends with open invitations to contribute it is updated every generation. The decision to revise the book of discipline was made at Yearly Meeting 2018 – it’s not something Quakers rush into or hurry to complete.
Welcoming the decision to revise Quaker Faith & Practice, Paul Parker, recording clerk said: "Once in a generation, Quakers decide to take a long hard look at our faith, what it means to us, and what we can say about it. Today's bold decision to revise Quaker Faith & Practice means it's time for us to do that again. It's exciting. We want to hear the insights of younger and more diverse people, and set out how we are a faith fit for the 21st century. I'm looking forward to it."
The Quakers in Britain website describes Quaker Faith and Practice: ‘The text in Quaker Faith & Practice is an attempt to express truth through the vital personal and corporate experience of Friends. It is largely composed of extracts from Friends' writings: a fitting way of expressing the breadth of Quaker theology. It also describes the current structures and practices of Britain Yearly Meeting.’
An online version is available here Quaker faith & practice | 5th Edition and it can be purchased from the Quaker Bookshop Quaker Bookshop. Quaker faith and practice 5th edition PB.
Amanda Jones – Okehampton Quaker Meeting
You can find more from Amanda on her website and social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, X & YouTube.