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Quakers celebrate 400th birthday of co-founder who lived in Mansfield

Posted onPosted on 18th Jun

Quakers will be celebrating 400 years in July since the birth of their founder, George Fox, across the world.

Although today the largest groups of Quakers are in East Africa and South America, the movement first started gaining momentum in Mansfield.

Originally from Leicestershire, George lived in Mansfield from the 1640s onwards, working as a shoemaker.

It was during his time in the town that he is said to have had the calling to form a new religion, based on a different way of communicating with God and recruited its first followers. Fox gathered people interested in a more egalitarian form of faith, who in time became known as the Quakers, or Friends. Today there are more than 400,000 worldwide.

His journal recounts how he started visiting in 1646, where at meetings “the Lord’s power was so great that the house seemed to be shaken”. By 1648 he reports “Divers meetings of Friends, in several places, were then gathered to God’s teaching, by his light, Spirit, and power; for the Lord’s power broke forth more and more wonderfully.”

Quakers today are present in more than 100 countries, with events planned to mark Fox’s birthday in many of them. Quakers continue to meet in Mansfield every Sunday at 10.30am at the Friends Meeting House on Rosemary Street.