If you are a student or a young adult in Oxford under the age of 35 or so, we warmly invite you to join us. The group is convened by Tas Cooper, supported by Meryem Kalayci. Both Tas and Meryem are Quaker Chaplains to Oxford University; Meryem is also College Chaplain at St Hilda’s College.
When we meet
We hold Meetings for Worship as a group on Monday evenings from 8 to 9pm at 43 St Giles. We have half an hour of worship, followed by a chat and vegetarian meals graciously provided by the Syrian Sisters, a charitable initiative that supports Syrian women and their families to set themselves up and become integrated in the UK.
The all-age morning meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7.30 to 8am, with breakfast provided, are also popular among students.
During the current coronavirus pandemic, meetings are blended. You can choose to join us either in the Meeting House or on Zoom. Numbers in the Meeting House are limited; you will need to sign up and also wear a face mask. For further information, visit Meetings for Worship During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
If you are new to Oxford Meeting or to Quakers in general, you may find the information at First Time at Meeting in 43 St Giles’? helpful.
A quiet drop-in study space is available in the Meeting House library on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 2-6 pm. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Social distancing rules are currently in place, and you’ll need to wear a mask.
Learning more about Quakers
If you would like to find out more about Quakers in general, you might like to start with these short and very readable books:
- What do Quakers Believe? by Geoffrey Durham (2019)
- Living our beliefs: An exploration of the faith and practice of Quakers, developed and edited by Young Quakers with Graham Ralph (2nd ed. 2018)
- Quakers do What! Why? by Rhiannon Grant (2020); available as a paperback or in e-book format from John Hunt Publishing
Quaker Faith and Practice (QfP for short) is the ‘core’ Quaker text. It’s a weightier read than the other three titles and is best dipped into according to your particular interest or need. QfP describes what it means to be a Quaker in Britain through extracts from writings of many Quakers from the 17th century down to the present day. It offers thoughts, reflections and advice on the different stages of life and the challenges one may encounter; relationships; aspects of faith; service to the community; upholding peace and equality; and sharing the Earth’s resources. QfP also addresses ‘church government’: e.g. the conduct of Meetings for Worship and procedures for marriages and funerals.
QfP is available online; there are also printed copies in the Meeting House.
Courses on Quakerism
Woodbrooke, the Quaker study centre in Birmingham, offers a wide variety of courses. All courses are currently online only, but in normal times residential courses are offered too (often over weekends). Topics include Quaker tradition and history, personal spiritual growth, interfaith issues, biblical studies, and working for peace and social justice.
Young adults aged 18-35 can receive a 50% discount on course fees, and you can apply to Oxford Meeting to cover some or all of the remaining cost if you wish.
If you would like to get in touch with other young adult Quakers around the UK, you may be interested in Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM). YFGM holds weekend-long meetings with worship and various workshops and activities in February, May and October each year. It also has a private Facebook group.
Keeping in touch
You can email our convenor, Tas Cooper, using the contact form below.
In between our Meetings you can keep up to date with us through our private Facebook group and/or our WhatsApp group. To join the WhatsApp group, please send your name and mobile phone number to Tas.