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.


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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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Break up the banks? We need a banking revolution!

Saturday, 1 October, 2016 – 10:30 to 16:00, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road London NW1 2BJ

A day conference organised by London Quakers for everyone.

In 2011, Britain Yearly Meeting (the governing body of the Quakers) said “The global economic system ……is often unjust, violent and destructive…We must urgently work with others of faith and good will….”

Morning session 10.30am to 12.30pm (including tea/coffee break)

David Shirreff , Economic Journalist and author of “Break Up The Banks!” https://goo.gl/R9mGSI will address:

 What banks do.
 Why they aren’t doing what is needed.
 What banks could become.

Afternoon session 1.30pm to 3.45pm (including tea/coffee break)

Positive Money – Fran Boait ,Executive Director of Positive Money.
Triodos Bank: A bank that is different. – Neil Hewitt, of Triodos.
Towards a new economy in which Quaker Testimony can flourish – Cait Crosse, member of QPSW team.

A Question and Answer session, including David Shirreff.
Considering Ways Forward!

Nuts and Bolts

No fee, but registration requested.  Please use the London Quakers’ contact form (click here) and say who you are and if appropriate, which Quaker meeting you are from.
The Quaker Centre café will be open for lunch.
Queries to LQEvents2016@gmail.com or phone Fred Ashmore, tel 07976 299721 or Sue Newsom, tel 0208 3508272.
No charge but there will be a collection towards costs at the end of the day.
It will be helpful to read “Principles for a new economy” and “What’s the economy for?” by QPSW. www.quaker.org.uk/neweconomy

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Building bridges after the referendum

Statement by Quakers in Britain (BYM)

The outcome of the EU referendum and the campaigning that led up to it have shown up and sometimes exacerbated divisions within and between our communities.

There is now a great need for bridge-building, for reaching out to one another in love, trusting that below the political differences lie a shared humanity and a wish for flourishing communities.

Inequalities run deep in society and some are exposed by the vote. Quakers in England, Scotland and Wales are committed to working together and with others – including Quakers across Europe – for a peaceful and just world. In the coming year our Quaker Yearly Meeting will focus on building movements with others locally and globally. We refuse to prejudge who is or is not an ally.

Turbulent times can be frightening, but the Spirit is a source of strength for all, guiding us in who we are and what we do. We take heart from the knowledge that with change comes opportunity. We will look for creative ways to find common cause, to listen, to influence and to persuade. As the status quo is shaken we and our neighbours must look to one another for support, wisdom and above all ways of healing divisions.

You can access the statement here.

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Open Gardens event Sat 18th June

Quakers will again throw open their garden and burial ground, free, as part of the Open Gardens event 11-5pm

Steph the gardener will explain how we manage the site on organic principles

There will be refreshments and Quakers to talk about the history of the building

Picnickers welcome

The poet John Canfield will be in attendance.

More info: Ann Margaret 02083630446

079366963129 (Clerk)

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Yearly Meeting 2016 epistle

‘Living out our faith in the world’

Epistle from Britain Yearly Meeting Held at Friends House, London on 27 – 30 May 2016.

“Loving Greetings to Friends everywhere,

British Friends of all ages, and visiting Friends from around the world, have gathered in London for our second of three Yearly Meetings looking at ‘Living out our faith in the world’ and have experienced a great depth of worship.

We reminded ourselves where we ended last year, with a call for equality and action. We were inspired by hearing an epistle from Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) and news of projects undertaken by individual Friends, local meetings and area meetings. We all, adults, children and young people, have considered how we use our gifts, how we recognise, test and support concerns, and how we work with others.

Taking so much time to consider the concept of Spirit-given gifts has brought us to a point of deeper understanding. What makes something a gift of the Spirit is not the gift itself but the way in which it is used.

As written in Corinthians: ‘There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. There are varieties of activity, but in all of them and in everyone the same God is active. In each of us the Spirit is seen to be at work for some useful purpose.’
(1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Revised English Bible)

Even our brokenness and burdens, which may change our lives in deep and challenging ways, can become gifts.
How does the Light push us into action? Quakers have a long tradition of testing concerns in local, area and yearly meetings. Testing a concern may challenge not just the leading of one Friend, but the commitment of the whole Meeting and lead to growth for everyone. Through the right use of this process we can support our Friends in their callings.

We have heard inspiring examples of Friends living out their faith. Friends had the opportunity to see a play about Ada Salter’s outstanding social and political work a hundred years ago. Some Friends described their own personal journeys of acting under concern.

Our Swarthmore Lecturers shared their experiences of Quaker peace work in Central and East Africa. Although we heard the words of both we were deeply saddened that Cécile Nyiramana was prevented and Esther Mombo attended alone. They spoke of using and adapting existing peacemaking tools. Some of the causes of conflict they see, such as poverty and inequality, are present in our own society. Sustainable peacebuilding begins with individuals working within their local communities.

Our working with others and “movement building” will be the theme of our next Yearly Meeting. We have been challenged to consider whether we ought to be a prophetic voice crying in the wilderness, like John the Baptist, or take direct action in collaboration with others.

The problems we face are big and urgent and we may feel as if we are standing at the edge of all we know. However, if we have faith and trust in our leadings, when we take the next step together, either we will find earth under our feet or God will give us wings.

Signed in and on behalf of Britain Yearly Meeting

Deborah Rowlands”

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