Being relatively new to Quakerism in general, it is my understanding that the Quakers are largely of English, Irish, Welsh and even Scottish decent (a recent discovery that I did not know). This seems to me to be part of the "Celtic" nations. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as Cornish, Manx or Brittany Quakers historically speaking?

Thank you

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Historically, the British Isles played a pivotal role in the origins of the Society of Friends.  Nowadays, Friends in Britain appear to be losing ground in terms of membership.  My impression is that Irish Friends are, on the whole, more traditional in faith.  I am not sure how they are faring in spiritual vitality and numbers.

Today, the "cutting edge" of Quaker growth appears to be Africa, Central and South America and Asia.

I attended the "Friends in the Americas" conference at Friends University (Wichita KS) in 1977(?).  I occupied one of two beds in my dorm room.  The other was unoccupied.

When I woke up the next morning, a Guatemalan Friends pastor was in the other bed.  I could speak very little Spanish, and he could speak almost n0 English.  I tried out my half-fluent French on him, and got nowhere!  Fortunately, another Friend from Guatemala spoke both English and Spanish, so we were in business!  We enjoyed getting to know each other, and sharing our faith in Christ.


I attend a small meeting in Hampshire, England. 

To attempt to answer your question without writing a book:

England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man (manx) and Cornwall all come under the British yearly meeting.

BYM is split into area meetings which are based on counties e.g Hampshire and the islands (The Islands are Isle of Wight, Jersey, Guernsey (although Jersey and Guernsey are not part of hampshire) and another that I can't remember at the moment), Berkshire, Yorkshire etc.

Cornwall is a county so has its own area meeting. Wales, Scotland and Ireland are split into counties and these will have their own area meetings.

I don't know for certain (I could find out) but I suspect that some of the smaller less populated counties are combined to form a reasonably sized area meeting.

Brittany is in France and I don't know anything about French Quakers.

Hope this answers your question, happy to answer anything else (if I can) if you post it on here.

Hi Scott,

Greetings from Wales! Friends can be found in all parts of the British Isles, but are pretty sparse in some areas. Manx Quakers do have an interesting history .  George Fox visited Cornwall in 1655 and by 1700 there were more than twenty meetings in the county with Falmouth becoming and important town for Quakers (The Fox family, no relation to George, were very prominent Cornish Quakers).  As for Brittany Friends, I know of none, but Quaker meetings in France are operating.

I'm a relatively new attender at a meeting here in Ireland, and just to clarify on what Paula said, Quakers here in Ireland (in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) are part of Ireland Yearly Meeting, not Britain Yearly Meeting (although relationships are close). Irish Friends are a mix of liberals and evangelicals - I've been told that Friends in Northern Ireland tend be more evangelical, whereas in the south they tend to be more liberal. In my admittedly limited experience, you'll probably find more biblical references and traditional Christian language among Irish Friends than our British counterparts. Again relationships are quite close, the BYM magazine "The Friend" is a regular fixture at meetings, for example.

oops... thanks Ben for clarifying that, I must admit I was making assumptions based on what was happening in the rest of the UK, I did wonder what the situation was with the ROI. I'm glad all of Ireland has it's own yearly meeting, it certainly makes sense.

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