Quaker worship is experienced as a silent collective meditation, a time for individuals to sit in waiting worship, and to be open to the movement of the spirit among the congregation's members. Out of the stillness, congregants may be moved to give ministry from their own experience of the Spirit.
Quakerism as a movement, grew out of the English Reformation when George Fox, the son of a weaver, had a vision while travelling in the fells of northern England and saw 'a great people to be gathered.' He found support among a group of people known as Seekers, who were people disaffected by the established Church of England, but were unconvinced by other itinerant preachers. The movement grew weathered the upheaval of the English Civil War, where Quakers were suppressed and persecuted, and was eventually transplanted across the Atlantic by English colonists in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Quakerism has grown, experienced several schisms, and now exists throughout the globe in different forms.