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1046 Bristol Road
Birmingham B29 6LJ
United Kingdom

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Courses & Learning

The Swarthmore Lecture


What is the Swarthmore Lecture?


The Swarthmore Lecture has been running for over a hundred years and has a key place in the life of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain.  It has two purposes: firstly to interpret to Quakers their message and mission, and secondly to make the wider public aware of the spirit, the aims and fundamental principles of Friends.

A lecture is given each year at Britain Yearly Meeting (the annual gathering of Quakers in Britain) and a supporting publication. Lecturers often lead courses at Woodbrooke following the lecture which allow more in-depth exploration of the subject (for details see below).


The Lecture is funded by Woodbrooke and overseen and supported by the Swarthmore Lecture Committee, which is appointed by the trustees of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre.


Many past lectures have included study materials for individuals or groups. Recent past lectures can be purchased from the Quaker Centre Bookshop ( or telephone 020 7663 1030) or can be found in local Quaker meeting libraries. You can access MP3s of previous Swarthmore Lectures by clicking on the 'past lectures' tab on the right-hand side of this page.


Further Information


For more information about the Swarthmore Lecture contact Simon Best, Nurturing Friends & Meetings Tutor, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, 1046 Bristol Road, Birmingham, B29 6LJ. Email: