Meeting for Worship

Early Meeting

Early Meeting is held at 8 a.m. followed by a shared breakfast. It is attended by about 12 to 20 people and is preferred by those who like a small group

Main Meeting

Each Sunday morning at 10.30, members and visitors meet for an hour's silent worship at our Meeting House in West Avenue, Gosforth.

Children are welcomed and separate activities for different age groups are available.

Most of those attending gather some ten minutes before the meeting. An appointed Quaker will greet everyone as they enter. A brief handshake and perhaps a quiet good morning are offered.

Some go straight into the Meeting Room, the large room upstairs (there is a lift) in which the Meeting for Worship takes place; others wait in the hall and converse quietly so as not to disturb those who have started worship.

Some leaflets about the Quaker Way, including Your first time in a Quaker Meeting? are available on a rack. Children will go to their own group.

The Meeting itself starts as soon as the first person enters the Meeting Room.

Benches and several chairs are arranged facing one another around the room. You may sit wherever you like.The Meeting gradually settles down into a deeper silence. At some point, one of those present may be moved to speak.

This is not undertaken lightly. It is a matter of waiting and if you feel the insistence to speak, then do so. Try to speak clearly, simply, and as briefly as the point allows.

On the central table, and at strategic points on the benches, are copies of various books: the Bible, the short Advices and Queries, and Quaker Faith and Practice, a book of readings.
Usually at Newcastle Meeting, which is typically attended by between 40 to 50 people, several will speak or "minister" during the course of the hour; but completely silent meetings are not unknown. About ten minutes before the meeting is due to close, the children will come in, sometimes carrying evidence of their morning's activities. Most go to sit with their parents for the closing stage of the meeting.

At 11.30, or after a suitable interval following the last ministry, the elders shake hands to mark the end of the meeting. Everyone else follows suit, and two or three Quakers leave the room to prepare tea and coffee.

Notices are given out which include events planned for the following week, and occasionally reports from other meetings or conferences. If the collection is not for Newcastle Meeting's own upkeep, the last speaker will have spoken about the charitable cause for which it is being taken.

What do you do in Meeting for Worship?

This question is one that may well have occurred to many who have heard about or occasionally attended a Quaker Meeting. One member's response is contained in his poem Draw Breath.