About Quakers

Quakers have been worshipping in Thirsk for over three hundred years and even before then, the land the Meeting House stands on was occupied by a group who named themselves Seekers.

Seekers, Quakers and many other non-conformist religious groups arose from  the period of great religious upheaval which  followed the splitting-off from Rome of the Catholic church in England during Henry VIII's reign and the adoption of Protestantism by his daughter Elizabeth Ist. George Fox as a young man found that worshipping Christ and God through the mediation of priests was wrong for him. He thought that the relationship should be direct between the human and the divine and spent several years as a young man travelling the country seeking his own answers whilst experiencing a dark night of the soul.  As he travelled and talked to people his thoughts crystallised and he began to draw crowds to listen to him. Most famously, in 1652 he preached to a large crowd on Firbank Fell near Sedburgh in Cumbria at what is seen as the beginnings of the Society of Friends of the Truth, to give Quakers their full name.