In 1652, a young man called George Fox made his way north from the Midlands where he grew up.

For some time, he had felt troubled about his understanding of, and relationship with, God and had wandered about asking priests and learned people to help with his doubts. He didn’t find any answers from those he asked, but he experienced what he called an ‘opening’.

This is how he described it: “There was none among them who could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, then, oh then, I heard a voice which said ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition’, and when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy.”

This was the message which Fox brought to Westmoreland, where he met with the thousands of ‘Seekers’, who also were disenchanted with what they received from the church, and were seeking a new way, often meeting in silence.

Thus were many Quaker Meetings established in this part of the world. I worship at Preston Patrick where a meeting began after Fox preached in what was St Gregory’s Chapel, now St Patrick’s Church. The silence of the worship, with occasional spoken ministry, gives me space to grow, to acknowledge the Divine, or whatever name we give to what is beyond us, and to try to live as Christ taught us.

Written by Meg Hill, Preston Patrick Local Quaker meeting

To share an insight about how your faith impacts your view of things, please contact: