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Filtering by Category: Chris Willis

A Paper Flower

Chris Willis

by Chris Willis

I have been attending Quaker meetings here in the UK for nearly a decade but have never settled at one. I usually attend for a few months then find some convenient excuse to leave it behind and neglect my spiritual needs. ‘I didn’t like that Friend’s testimony’ ‘There isn’t enough discipline at this meeting’ ‘It’s too near a noisy road’ I tell myself I don’t need a religious community, I don’t need God. I know deep down these are just excuses I tell myself to disguise the real reason I cannot remain at one meeting for any real amount of time; my fears and insecurities.

I am afraid of getting close to a Quaker community because of the sheer challenges presented by Quakerism. For me Quakerism is not easily defined and it varies a great deal depending on which part of the world you worship with Friends. Is your meeting Liberal or Conservative? Perhaps it is Evangelical? Is it programmed or unprogrammed? Would the majority of Friends at your meeting be comfortable being described as Christians or would they not? It sometimes seems there are more questions than answers and, in some ways that frightens me. This isn’t what religion is supposed to be about is it? It’s about answers not questions. Quakers live their faith, not just talk about it, which can be an intimidating prospect. I’m far from perfect.

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