How Quaker cofounder began his spiritual journey in Barnet  

Barnet was the scene of George Fox’s ‘great inward turmoil’ after rejecting heirarchical religion

A cheerful illustration of George Fox
Illustration: Marcela Teran/Liberation Works.

Four hundred years after the birth of their founder, George Fox, Quakers are celebrating with events across the world.

Born in 1624 into times of religious and political upheaval, Fox gathered people interested in a more egalitarian form of faith. With time they became known as the Quakers, or Friends. Today there are more than 400,000 worldwide. 

After rejecting the hierarchical religion he had grown up in, and leaving his hometown behind, his journal recounts how he visited Barnet, aged 20 where he experienced great inward turmoil, about what he had just done. .

This sets off the narrative arc of the journal, as he sets off on a journey – both inward and outward – that would take him to more than 370 places. His inward tumult eventually resolves as he identifies the inward light of Christ as a force able to act as spiritual guide, rather than looking to outward authorities. 

This year there are events to mark George Fox’s 400th birthday across Britain, Ireland, the USA, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Quakers meet in New Barnet at 10.30am on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays of the month.  

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