Religious Society of Friends in Ireland

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The Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, recognised as a denomination within the Christian faith, has about seventy members in its Lisburn Meeting. "Quaker" is a nickname given to Friends, more than 300 years ago, by which they are sometimes best known today. Central to the life of Friends in Lisburn is the Meeting for Worship at which any member may speak or pray when led by the Holy Spirit to do so. This form of worship does not need a priest or clergyman to lead it or mediate between the Almighty and worshippers. The Meeting’s affairs are governed by regular meetings at which any member has a right to attend and speak. The Meeting has a chairperson, known as the Clerk, whose duty is to discern the feeling of the meeting and record it. No votes are ever taken. The Clerk’s job is to do the will of the meeting. It follows that decisions come up from the congregation, and are not handed down from the top. Similar meetings are held also at provincial and all–Ireland levels, at which matters affecting Friends are decided. Rules for church government are contained in a slim 90-page volume called the Book of Discipline. 

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