Quaker Chaplaincy at the University of York

On this page:

Quaker worship
About me
Meetings for worship on campus
Meetings for worship in York
The Quiet Place
Links (including information about Quakers in general)
What Quakers believe

Quaker worship.

Quaker worship is characterised by silence as we gather in expectant waiting, active in an inner search for God's guidance. This silent waiting is also an outward sharing. We join together as a community in our unspoken search and experience. People who feel led to do so voice their prayers, thoughts and beliefs. These messages are received as expressions of God's presence among us. We have no set prayers, no hymns, no outward liturgy, and no clergy. All are welcome to join our silent worship as equals.

About me.

The Quaker "chaplain" is Richard Ogden, a lecturer in the Department of Language & Linguistic Science. You can find me in the Department, which is located in the Language Centre, opposite Central Hall. Feel free to drop in and see me; I have a surgery hour during term when I promise to be available, and I keep at least one day a week clear for research, when I prefer not to be disturbed.

Autumn term 2004: My research day is Friday. My surgery hour is Thursdays 11.15am-12.15pm.

Ways to reach me:
e-mail: rao1@york.ac.uk
phone: (43)2672

My homepage

I keep an e-mail list of people who want to be kept in touch with Quaker activities. Just give me your address, and I'll add you to it.

Meetings for Worship on campus.

Ameeting for worship is held on campus on MONDAYS in the Upper Room at the Quiet Place. We start to gather at 5.00pm, and silent worship starts at around 5.15pm, and last for around half an hour. Everyone is welcome, whatever your religious background (or lack of!).

Quaker meetings for worship are not like church services. We have no priest, because we share the jobs of the clergy in other denominations. We have no hymns and no set prayer: our worship is based on simple silence, and anyone who feels led to speak ('minister') is free to do so. Feel free to contact me first if you'd like to talk about it before you come.

Meetings for Worship in York.

There are three separate Preparative Meetings in York, and all are part of York Monthly Meeting. The three PMs are Friargate, Acomb and New Earswick. Meeting for worship is held in all three meetings at 10.30 every Sunday.

Friargate is one of the largest meetings in the country, with about 240 members and a large number of people not formally in membership of the Society. There are usually about 100 people present for meeting for worship on Sunday morning. Friargate also has a smaller breakfast meeting on the first and third Sunday in the month, starting at 8.45 for breakfast, following by meeting for worship from 9.15.

You can find Friargate meeting house on Friargate, which is between Castlegate and Clifford Street (on the right, just past the fire station and Pizza hut, opposite York Dungeon).

The meeting house is open most days of the week, and you're welcome to drop in and use the library, pick up some leaflets about Quakerism, and chat to the (very friendly) wardens, Rosemary and Swea.  (The loo is handy, as well.)

If you prefer smaller (and sometimes quieter) meetings, then you might want to try Acomb (c. 30m) or New Earswick (c. 70m), both a cycle ride away from campus. Feel free to talk to anyone at meeting about this.

The Quiet Place.

The Quiet Place was established in response to a concern of the previous Quaker Chaplain, Martin Biggs. Generous financial help was given by Friargate Meeting. The Quiet Place is a place for personal reflection and contemplation. It is located in the yew gardens at the back of Heslington Hall.  You can gain entry to it by getting the code from Derwent Porters.

The Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic chaplains organise ecumenical worship and quiet meditation in the Quiet Place; more information from them.

There is also a room available for use by small groups. If you would like a regular meeting for worship to be established on campus, please contact Richard Ogden.

Activities for the Autumn Term 2004.

November 19 and December 18: “Soup Sunday” at Friargate: soup is provided after meeting for worship. This is a regular event on the third Sunday of every month.
Early December: bring and share meal for Friends in their twenties and thirties (and thereabouts). More details from Richard Ogden.


Britain Yearly Meeting :

request an enquirer's pack; find out more about Quaker worship; who to contact at Friends' House; accommodation in London --- lots of useful stuff.

Young Friends' General Meeting :

website of British Friends aged 18-30(-ish).

What Quakers believe.

Quakers hold a diverse range of beliefs. We value our own experiences of God, and respect those of others. A Quaker meeting for worship is based on silence, out of which spoken ministry may arise. We have no set prayers or hymns or liturgy, preferring instead to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit. We subscribe to no creeds: our experience is that religious experience cannot easily be put into words, and cannot be confined by them. We have no paid or ordained clergy: the tasks taken on by paid ministers in other churches are shared among all the membership.

Quakers have historically been "progressive" or "liberal", and see social action as an integral part of our religious faith. Quakers were among the first to campaign against slavery, to introduce decent working conditions for their employees, and to work for the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

We are pacifist, and as a Society campaign against preparations for war. In the early 1990s, Friargate meeting agreed that any couple in the meeting (straight or gay) who would like to celebrate their commitment to one another, but who can't or don't want to choose marriage as a possibility, could do so with the support of the meeting. The Religious Society of Friends is currently also exploring a developing testimony to the sacredness of creation, and the implications that has for our relationship to our environment and our use of resources.

The links below will give you more a better idea of Quaker thinking; you're also welcome to talk to me.

Sources of information about Quakerism.
The Quaker bookshop in London.
Quaker views  on all sorts of things, including sacraments, celebrations and sex.