Standing in solidarity against violence

Quakers in Britain join the international community in condemning the attack on Manchester Arena.

Quakers are part of The Interfaith Network and endorse this statement:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives or were injured in last night’s terrorist murders at the Manchester Arena, as they are with their families, all others affected and those responding with assistance.

We deplore and condemn this wanton, brutal and cowardly taking of the lives of young and old.

Let us stand together to oppose terrorism and the ideologies that promote it.

Let us also uphold and strengthen the unity of our society and work to ensure that it is a positive and harmonious one where all children and young people can grow up safely and without fear.

It is vital that we all – of every age and background – work to build bridges and positive relationships and to enable difficult issues to be addressed and worked on – always seeking to avoid the use of violence to resolve issues.

We know that each time a terrorist attack occurs, groups within society become the target of abuse or even attack because of terrorist actions which claim, or are perceived by some, as having a link to them. We must stand, likewise, against this. An attack on one is an attack on all.

We remember at this time, in this context, particularly the many in the Greater Manchester area working for good relations.”

Signed,

The Co-Chairs of the Inter Faith Network for the UK and Moderators of the IFN Faith Communities Forum

You can access the statement and related information here.

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Refugee Week 2017

Quakers in Britain are putting on an impressive programme of events to mark Refugee Week 2017 from 19-25 June.  All events will be at Friends House in Euston.  All free of charge.  Have a look at the programme here.

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Radical spirituality: the early history of the Quakers

This free, very popular,  online course is being repeated in May 2017.   Learn about the beginnings of  Quakerism as it emerged in 17th century England.  To find out more and register click here.

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Quakers stand alongside victims of racist policies

Quakers in Britain have responded to the global unease about recent political developments around the world with a clear statement asserting that, “Humanity needs leaders of integrity and conscience, ready to be held to account by individuals and institutions, national and international.”

In the statement made on Saturday 4 February by their representative body, Meetings for Sufferings, Quakers say, “There can be no peace without justice; no love without trust; and no unity without equality. Our faith urges us to welcome the stranger as our equal and friend, feed those who are hungry and shelter those who are homeless, needy and frightened.

“Alongside Quakers in the USA, and their American Friends Service Committee, we stand with those whose lives are blighted by racist, discriminatory policies and those whose faith is denigrated by association with a tiny violent minority.”

The full statement from Meeting for Sufferings held at Friends House, Quakers’ central offices in London is here:

‘We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity’ (Margaret Fell, writing to Charles II in 1660). Quakers in Britain see these values now under growing threat around the world, not least from recent developments in the United States of America.

We condemn all acts of government which set people against one another; which discriminate against people because of who they are or where they were born. We reject policies which condone suspicion and hatred; which turn away those who need and depend upon our help. We were not put on Earth for this, but to be a people of God, to live in harmony with each other.

“There can be no peace without justice; no love without trust; and no unity without equality. Our faith urges us to welcome the stranger as our equal and friend, feed those who are hungry and shelter those who are homeless, needy and frightened.

“Alongside Quakers in the USA, and their American Friends Service Committee, we stand with those whose lives are blighted by racist, discriminatory policies and those whose faith is denigrated by association with a tiny violent minority. We pray for the courage and steadfastness that will be needed as we uphold our testimony of equality, justice, peace, sustainability and truth. For us, prayer is inseparable from action.

Humanity needs leaders of integrity and conscience, ready to be held to account by individuals and institutions, national and international. We pray for those in positions of power. We call on them, as public servants, to work with all of good faith to build the world we seek, to fertilise the soil in which the tender shoots of peace, love and unity may flourish.” 

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Exploring Islam in Britain

Exploring Islam in Britain

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 7pm (refreshments from 6:30pm), Tottenham Meeting House, 594 High Road, London, N17 9TA

Tottenham Quakers invite you to meet with friends from the Muslim community in North London. All welcome.

The event will explore: the richness of Muslim faith and practice; the realities of Muslim life in Britain; our shared values and our diversity.

Speakers: Mustafa Almansur (Finsbury Park Mosques) and Henrietta Szovati.

More details in the link.

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Christmas Day 2016

In a spiritual sense Quakers view every day as sacred and therefore Christmas Day is no different from any other.

However, we shall have a meeting for worship as usual on Sunday 25th December with refreshments after.  Usual start time of 10.30am but on this occasion the meeting for worship will only last 45 minutes.

All very welcome.  We look forward to seeing you.

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Quakers caution against scrapping the Human Rights Act

To mark Human Rights Day on 10 December, Quakers in Britain have sent a plea to the Prime Minister to drop the government’s commitment to ‘scrap’ the Human Rights Act. This move signifies their centuries-long history of standing up for human rights and for working for peace and justice.

The letter was co-ordinated by the British Institute of Human Rights and was signed by 164 organisations, including those working with new mothers, children, patients, carers, people with learning disabilities and mental ill-health, women experiencing violence, migrants and older people, and groups campaigning for LGBT rights, fair trials, access to justice, decent housing and against racial discrimination.

The full text reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

Today, on Human Rights Day, we will celebrate the difference the Human Rights Act makes to all our lives.

The Human Rights Act is something to cherish. It helps those delivering frontline services to make difficult ethical decisions and enables families to hold those in powerful positions to account. It is key to defending our free press and to protecting our democracy. It is the Bill of Rights we already have.

This year, huge uncertainty and upheaval began that will continue for years to come. It is not the time to add to the legal confusion, to risk further division or signal that the UK wants to walk away from international standards. Now is the time to champion, at home and abroad, the protection of hard-won human rights. For everyone.

The day you became Prime Minister you said your mission was to make Britain a country that works for everyone, including the disadvantaged. You said that when your government passes new laws you would listen to ordinary people and you would do everything you could to give them more control over their lives.

The Human Rights Act makes a much-valued difference to all our lives and for many people that difference is dramatic. Please, Prime Minister, drop the government’s commitment to “scrap” the Human Rights Act.

You can access the full list of the signatories here.

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Meet Quaker Social Action, Saturday 19th November

All very welcome to our annual public meeting of Quakers in the North London Area.  This year it is an interactive one on the work of  Quaker Social Action, a charity that does some excellent work around community building and social inclusion.  10.30am for 11am on Saturday 19th November. Free entry.  More details on the poster in the link below.

qsatalk-nov-2016

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Following the Quanglican way

Good article in the Church Times about the crossover between Quakers and Anglicans.  Published to mark Quaker Week 2016.  Read it here.

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Echo Chamber

 Echo Chamber is a free exhibition at Friends House, Euston from 18 August to 2 September. Open daily, 11.00am till 4.00pm, except Bank Holiday Monday.

The free exhibition marks the centenary of the Military Service Act, which brought in both conscription and the right to refuse to fight, on the grounds of conscience.  Quaker MPs worked to get the conscience clause into the Act.  Quakers were among 16,000 conscientious objectors in WWI.

Conscientious objection to military service is now recognised as a human right at United Nations and European levels although not all countries yet apply the law.

The artists will give talks at 2.00pm on Saturday 27 August.

For more information click here.

Family photos feature in Echo Chamber. Several generations came to mark the COs’ principled stand.  Donald Saunders spoke of his father and uncle’s courts martial and hard labour in prison, as well as the insults and vilification suffered by his mother.

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