||Cheltenham Quaker Meeting|
I’ve been led back by a series of coincidences to Friends in Cheltenham. I am drawn once more by their Peace Testimony which seems even more important in today’s world; their affirmation of that of God in every man and woman; their deep awareness of this Inner Light and most of all perhaps, the freedom they grant each one of us to find God in his or her own individual way. I believe we are all on an inner journey. We discover God in different ways at different stages of our lives, and sometimes God does not seem to be there at all. In the Meeting for Worship at Cheltenham there is a strong sense of love and care, a true awareness of Christ in action in a deeply personal way. So I feel I’ve come home at last.
For me, the heart of being a Quaker is the weekly Meeting for Worship. The mystery of silent worship in company draws me, and something of it stays with me.
I came to Quakers hoping to worship in spirit and in truth with no reservations about the details of worship. I found that Friends do not impose. Friends hold a range of beliefs and some Friends are sceptical about many traditional beliefs. For me this was a great relief since my credulity had long been strained. Joining with Friends in worship restores the spirit. It inspires me and informs me how I might live a better life and see more in other people.
I came to Meeting with so much to learn about love. Oddly, there is so much to hear in the silence - it creates spaces for the spoken words too. I have stayed to listen and - with God’s help and by example - to learn.
I came to Quakers searching for spiritual reassurance and help. I have found it a unique experience to be among Friends who hold vastly different spiritual beliefs, yet try to accept one another with an open heart and mind. The silent Meeting for Worship unites us all.
A good introduction to the experience and practice of Meeting for Worship can be found in The Amazing Fact of Quaker Worship by George Gorman. It is available for loan in the Meeting House library, or can be purchased from the Quaker Bookshop.
Meetings for Worship are held at Cheltenham Friends Meeting House every Sunday at 10:30am. Visitors are always very welcome to join us in quiet worship.
Cheltenham Quaker Meeting home page
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