Living our faith

Our religious experience leads us to value truth, equality, simplicity and peace. We are called to live our lives in accordance with these values, even if they lead us into conflict with others or make us unpopular. We call our values “testimonies” because our lives should be the evidence of, or testimony to, our values. We live these testimonies individually, in our meetings and at Scottish, British and worldwide levels. Find out more about our current work in Scotland, and our work in Britain and beyond.

It's not always easy to live this way, but as Quakers we try to help, support and encourage each other to keep trying.

For a Quaker, religion is not an external activity, concerning a special ‘holy’ part of the self. It is an openness to the world in the here and now with the whole of the self. If this is not simply a pious commonplace, it must take into account the whole of our humanity: our attitudes to other human beings in our most intimate as well as social and political relationships. It must also take account of our life in the world around us, the way we live, the way we treat animals and the environment. In short, to put it in traditional language, there is no part of ourselves and of our relationships where God is not present.

Harvey Gillman, 1988, Quaker faith and practice 20.20

Peace

Quakers are perhaps best known for our peace testimony, which comes from our belief that love is at the centre of existence and all humans are equal in God's eyes. It has led Quakers to refuse military service and become involved in a variety of peace activities. These range from practical work in areas affected by violent conflict to developing alternatives to violence at all levels – from the personal to the international.

Equality

Quakers believe everyone is equal. This means working to change the systems that cause injustice and hinder true community. It also means working with people who suffer injustice, such as prisoners and asylum seekers. This testimony led us to campaign for marriage equality.

Truth and integrity

Quakers try to live according to the deepest truth we know, which we believe comes from God. This means speaking the truth to all, including people in positions of power. As we are guided by integrity, so we expect to see it in public life.

Simplicity and sustainability

Quakers are concerned about the excesses and unfairness of our consumer society and the unsustainable use of natural resources. We try to live simply and to find space for the things that really matter: the people around us, the natural world, our experience of the eternal presence.