This course, designed particularly for those new to the Quaker way, will introduce the basic and essential elements of Quakerism: the expectation of a transforming encounter with the Divine (however we describe it); the use of a distinctive form of collective worship to nurture that encounter; discernment; and witness - the life that emerges as an outcome of our faith. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions and a forum for additional conversation between the sessions. Everyone is very welcome, whether or not you have experienced Quaker worship.

This course will include live speaker sessions with Q&A and a private discussion forum.

Live sessions will take place at 19:00-20:30 (UK time)  on Tuesday July 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th and will be recorded for participants who are unable to attend.

This course is based on seven live webinars run every Thursday at 3.00pm (UK time) from 4 June to 16 July.

The Quaker movement began with an extraordinary confidence that the kingdom of heaven was arriving on earth. The living word of Christ was sounding among his people and transformation was at hand for those who heard and responded. Ideas that had become part of Christian doctrine such as the second coming and the expectation that God’s righteousness would triumph in the affairs of the world were perceived as imminent realities. Friends felt they were living in the same Spirit as the early followers of Jesus and this brought vivid meaning to the teaching and stories of the New Testament. But just as change came for the first Christians, so Quakers had to adapt their thinking once the world did not transform in the 1650s. We will explore the new vision that animated both movements as well as how they responded when their expectations were not met. There will be plenty of input, a chance to hear the three course leaders in discussion each week as well as time to reflect on where this leaves the Quaker faith today. Is there meaning we can draw out of this central part of our faith tradition for the challenges of our lives today? What might heaven on earth mean for us now?

Milton’s great epic is one of the most enduring and remarkable works of English literature. Over eight weeks, we’ll introduce you to both the poet and his work, exploring three core questions: Who was John Milton? What was his message? And how does the poem speak to us today? In the process, we’ll examine key passages, look at other source material, and interpret the poem in its historical and cultural context. 

Do you find the Bible intimidating but intriguing? Do you want to engage your meeting in Bible study? This course will help you to find your way around the Bible and understand the distinctive Quaker approach to scripture. You will closely study several Biblical texts and reflect with others on your experience of the Bible. Each of the six units will be accompanied by a group study plan, supporting you in sharing your learning with your local Quaker community.