We are a group of people belonging to the organisation whose official name is the Religious Society of Friends. The Society has 450 meetings in Britain and covers a third of a million Quakers throughout the World.
Quakers share a way of life, not a set of beliefs. We seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world around us. We believe each person is uniquely valuable and there is something of God in everyone. We meet together for worship in local meetings which are inclusive and open to all.
Our focus is on our experience rather than written statements of belief. Our community is based on sharing a powerful form of silent worship, and on our core values of truth, equality, simplicity and peace. This leads us to translate our faith into action by working for social justice, supporting peacemakers and caring for the environment.
The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus. Quakers also find meaning and value in the teachings of other faiths; we acknowledge that ours is not the only way.
Balby Friends Meeting
We are one of the oldest Quaker Meetings in the world. There is a 1656 letter from Balby Elders in the introduction to ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’, a book that sits alongside the Bible in our meetings and contains guidance, questions and thoughts from individual Quakers over the centuries. The Balby letter encourages the reader to see the writings ‘not as a rule or form to walk by’ but to be ‘fulfilled in the Spirit … for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life’. The original 1706 Quaker Meeting House is now a private home on Quaker Lane Warmsworth. Quakers have been an active part of Doncaster life ever since, including four Mayors and the first female Councillor.
Balby Meeting House
We now meet in a modern, recently renovated building that is intended to serve not just our needs but those of the local community. A description and photos of the Meeting House are available on the Room Hire pages
Sheffield and Balby Area Meeting
The Religious Society is a democratic structure managed by volunteers with no paid clergy. Whilst Balby and other local meetings have a fixed-term Clerk (chair), Elders (spiritual leadership) and Overseers (support for members and attenders), the key level of management and membership is the Area Meeting. Sheffield and Balby Area Meeting (Registered Charity No 1134536) covers Central Meeting (the largest meeting in this area), Nether Edge and Hope Valley as well as Balby and all Friends and Attenders within this area.
Quakers in Britain
Central work of Britain’s Quakers is managed through Britain Yearly Meeting and administratively through Friends House, opposite Euston Station in London. More information is available through the Britain Yearly Meeting website.