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Quaker faith in action

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March 2021

Dear Friend,

I hope this email finds you well.

This month we, like many, have been deeply concerned about the use of force by police and the government's attempt to limit the freedoms to protest. Quakers in Britain joined over 150 faith bodies, charities and trade unions objecting to a Bill being rushed through parliament which will hand police draconian powers to decide where, when and how citizens are allowed to protest. We've also heard many concerns about the effect the Bill may have upon those from already marginalised communities. 

Exploring the importance of protest rights to Quakers, Oliver Robertson writes "A key part of Quaker faith is putting that faith into action, trying to change the world using nonviolent methods". 

Finally, I want say thank you to Suki for everything she did and for carrying this newsletter so well. We at QSPW wish her well on her next adventure. I have very much enjoyed reading what she put together each month and I look forward to carrying on in her footsteps. 

I also want to introduce myself, I'm Philip Wood, I've been working for Quaker Peace and Social Witness for a few years now. Many of you may already know me from the Sanctuary Everywhere programme but I've also been lucky enough to be able to support a number of QPSW areas of work, from the UK peaceworker scheme to supporting Quakers taking action on climate justice. 

In Friendship, 

Philip Wood

Quaker Peace & Social Witness
www.quaker.org.uk/our-work


Upcoming events

Featured event
 

QPSW Spring Sessions:
What love can do - How Quaker faith impels us to act in the world.

Join us for our new online workshop sessions throughout April, May and June to find out more about the peace & social witness work of Quakers in Britain. 

The Spring Sessions will look at issues including the spiritual roots of our work, working with decision makers, climate and racial justice peace campaigning, and more.  There will be time for discussions, question & answer sessions, and participatory activities. Everyone is welcome. If you have never heard of Quakerism before - or you’re thinking about how we can act in the world to create peace and positive change - you are welcome. You do not have to be a Quaker so please share widely with all those you think may be interested. 

Learn more and book a place
Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 April: Journey To COP26 action
On Saturday 10 April and Sunday 11 April we invite you to participate in this celebration of our environment by making a short journey to any place that is sacred to you.
Organised by you & QPSW. Find out more and Register for updates.

Thursday 15 April Tuesday 29 June: Quakers and the UN climate talks: how do we seize this moment?
Curious about COP26? Wondering how to take action? Join an online workshop for your region to find out what Quakers are doing and how you can get involved.
A regional online workshop organised organised by QPSW. Register here.

Tuesday 20 April – Thursday 3 June: QPSW Spring Sessions 2021 - What love can do: How Quaker faith impels us to act in the world.
Join us for our new online workshop sessions to find out more about the peace & social witness work of Quakers in Britain.
A series of seven online hour and half workshops and sessions. Organised by QPSW. Register here.

Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 May: Peace Education – Evidence and Possibilities
A online conference over three half days. The conference is to explore together how education can sow the seeds of sustainable peace and heal divisions, drawing inspiration from a long Quaker tradition of peace education work.
Online. Organised by QPSW & Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA). Register here.

Tuesday 25 May – 29 June: Jews & Quakers Conference: On Privilege and Prejudice

Religious prejudice and privilege manifest in multiple ways in our society and our lives. Antisemitism is still common, and Quakers are not immune from it. The conference will be run as a short online course to be held over 6 consecutive weeks in 1 hour evening sessions.
Online. Organised by Woodbrooke. £110pp. Book a place.


Take action

Quakers and the UN climate talks: how do we seize this moment?

Curious about COP26? Wondering how to take action? Join an online workshop for your region to find out what Quakers are doing and how you can get involved.

QPSW is running a workshop to explain the basics of COP26, talk to Friends about the work we are doing on climate this year, and provide breakout spaces for you to connect with others and begin to plan for action.

The workshop will take place on five different dates, with each date aimed at specific regions/nations. This should give you an opportunity to connect with Friends in the same part of Britain as you. However, if you cannot attend on the date scheduled for your region/nation, you are welcome to sign up for a different one. Find out more and register here:

Encourage Police and Crime Commissioner to back Restorative Justice

In Feburary's Quaker faith in action we shared Teresa's recent blog which spoke about transforming the justice system. Quakers can get involved is by using the upcoming elections to ask Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) and other election candidates to fund Restorative Justice more in their area, as part of Victim and Community Safety Funds.  

'Why Me?', a national charity delivering and promoting Restorative Justice, are currently running campaign, asking PCCs and election candidates to sign a pledge to support restorative justice being offered to those harmed by crime. Find out more.

Help end the financing of nuclear weapons

Recently the government announced it will increase the UK nuclear arsenal by 44%, ignoring its commitments under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Peace & Disarmament Programme of QPSW is working with partners in the peace movement to challenge the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to campaign for nuclear disarmament. We are also involved with the Nuclear Weapons Financing Research group, a collective of faith groups working together to move money out of nuclear weapons.
 
Now that the Nuclear Ban Treaty has entered into force as international treaty law, it is a good time to write to your, or your meeting’s,  banks and pension providers asking them questions such as:
 
  1. What policies do they have in place to ensure that they do not have any financial involvement in nuclear weapons?
  2. What transparency measures they have in place in relation to nuclear weapons financing?
You could also ask to have the subject of investment in nuclear weapons on the agenda for your local and area business meetings. 

You can find more information and support here

News & views

Quakers in Britain join with other churches to oppose plans to increase stockpiles of nuclear weapons

Alongside other faith bodies and anti-nuclear campaigners, Quakers in Britain have denounced the UK government's intention to hugely increase their stockpile of nuclear weapons. 

Church leaders across seven denominations have today made the following statement following the publication of the government's integrated review of foreign and defence policies.

"The government's decision in the integrated review of defence, security and foreign policy to increase the number of Trident nuclear warheads the UK can stockpile by more than 40 percent is a retrograde step that will not make any of us safer." Read more

Blog: Why protest shouldn’t be prevented

Oliver Robertson looks at current government proposals to limit protest rights in Britain.

Nonviolent protest has been one of the ways Quakers have agitated for change since their inception. Photo: BYM

"A key part of Quaker faith is putting that faith into action, trying to change the world using nonviolent methods. For a religion that believes all people have value as children of God, using violence to force change is off the agenda.

Protest has always been one of the methods we have used to do this. From the 17th-century to the present day, there have been Quakers impelled by their faith to put their comfort, their liberty, and sometimes their lives on the line to stand up for what they believe in." Read more

Thanks for reading! 
The next Quaker Faith in Action newsletter will be sent in late March. News and comment can be found on the Quakers in Britain blog: www.quaker.org.uk/blog.

If you would like to send news, some feedback, or update your contact details, please email philipw@quaker.org.uk.
QPSW staff tweet updates about:
Disarmament and peace: @DisarmQuaker
Peace education: @PeaceEduQuaker
Economic and climate justice: @EarthEconQuaker
Peacebuilding in East Africa: @QPSWAfrica
Turning the Tide: @TTTideUK

For eyewitness reports from Palestine and Israel, subscribe to the EAPPI UK & Ireland newsletter
For peace education news, subscribe to our Peace Education Cluster
For a weekly round-up of news from Quakers in Britain, subscribe to Quake!
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