Quaker faith in action

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Early June 2021

Dear Friend,

I hope this email finds you well.

Thank you to all those who joined us on the many events that QPSW has been involved with over the last month! We have just concluded the QPSW Spring Sessions, an overview of the work that Quaker Peace and Social Witness does on behalf of Quakers in Britain. Below you can find the recordings of these sessions. For those who missed the sessions,  would really recommend watching these videos.  

Many of you have also joined us for other events run or supported by QPSW this month, such as; the international conference on peace education ran jointly with QCEA; EAPPI's event to hear from those living with violence of the West Bank and Gaza; or the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network's event looking at solidarity in the hostile environment. 

Please read on to hear more news from QPSW, resources from the spring sessions and other events, how Quakers can respond to the government's new Policing bill, actions you can take to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis, and much more.

In Friendship, 

Philip Wood

Quaker Peace & Social Witness

Featured Item

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

With the QPSW spring sessions over we would like to thank all those joined, participate, helped organise and facilitate the sessions. QPSW staff give workshops on a huge array of topics, from sessions exploring the intersection of racial and climate justice, to sessions about working with decision-makers or having difficult conversations. Thank you for joining us through this journey. 

For those who missed out or those who may want to revisit and share the sessions with others, we have recorded and published the videos on the Quakers in Britain YouTube channel: Or, use this link for a playlist of all videos. We really hope that you find these resources useful and consider sharing them with your meeting or others who may find them interesting. 

Upcoming events

30 July – 8 August: Yearly Meeting Gathering: 'For our comfort and discomfort: living equality and truth in a time of crisis'
Bookings are now open for Yearly Meeting Gathering 2021 (YMG), which this year has the theme 'For our comfort and discomfort: living equality and truth in a time of crisis'. There are around 200 special interest groups are already lined up for the YMG Fringe. From 19 July, there will be worship and community-building activities and theme-related events. Yearly Meeting in session will be over two weekends from 30 July to 8 August. 
Find out more on the YMG website.

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

Now is the time to act on the Policing Bill

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill threatens the right to peaceful protest, and would increase prison sentences, fines, and police powers. The section on trespass would criminalise the way of life for nomadic Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and would limit access to the countryside.

Quakers in Britain will be lobbying on this at a national level. Please join us to help to persuade your local MP to speak out against the bill.

The bill has just started its Committee Stage in the House of Commons. This is where a group of MPs examines it line by line, and takes evidence from experts. All MPs will then vote on it again in July, before it goes to the House of Lords.

This means the next few weeks are critical.

Olivia Hanks outlines key actions to take now to challenge the bill. Find out how you can help.

5 quick actions you can take to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis and help end the violence

Last month our Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) team wrote about five quick actions we can do to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis

"The current surge in violence can only be understood in the context of 53 years of Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land and 73 years of dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people. For Palestinians, there can be no 'return to normal' once this latest round of violence ends. This is the message we need to our faith leaders and politicians to hear. Without challenging the main driver of this conflict – the Israeli military occupation of Palestine – the continued cycle of violence will never end." Please read and take action

Check out our new briefing ‘Climate justice: how does finance play a role?’

Our Economics and Sustainability team have been working with partners in the Faith for the Climate Network to join forces in advance of the UN climate talks. You can read more about the this work here. As part of our interfaith advocacy, we have developed a new briefing that explores two areas that we want to shine a spotlight: loss & damage and fossil fuel subsidies. The briefing includes a section on each, exploring why we must act and what we are calling for. It also ends with six things you can do to take action in these areas.
We would really like to hear your thoughts about the resource – please email us at to tell us what you think. Alongside our partners in the Make COP Count group, we’ll be sharing the resource with faith communities across the UK. Is there anyone in your networks who might be find the resource useful? Send it their way and help us share it even further!

News & views

Why peace needs practice

The Peace Education team was thrilled to host the Possibilities of Peace Education conference with our colleagues at the Quaker Council of European Affairs (QCEA). The blessing of moving this long-planned conference online was that we could make truly global connections. Delegates joined us from dozens of countries including Syria, Canada, Argentina, Turkey, Rwanda, Ireland, South Africa, Iraq, France, Afghanistan, India and the USA. We are grateful to the many British Quakers who joined us.

“We need to continue to build secure peace education learning opportunities that everyone can access regardless of background, identity or citizenship status as we are all citizens of the planet.”
- Hans Svennevig, UCL Institute of Education

Please watch and share the videos from QCEA, making the case for peace education.
Video 1 - Making the case for peace education
Video 2 – What needs to be done to make peace education a priority? 

Atiaf Alwazir, QCEA's head of peace programmes, write "The most revolutionary thing we can do in dark times is to counter helplessness by imagining another future and believing that peace is in fact a possibility." Read Atiaf Alwazir's blog taken from the opening and closing remarks of the conference. 

Coalition stands up for rights of Palestinian people

Amid escalating violence in Israel and occupied Palestine, Quakers in Britain are among a coalition of UK charities, human rights and faith organisations speaking up for the rights of Palestinian people. Read more.

Reflections on George Floyd

Edwina Peart, BYM's Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator, is among those sharing reflections on George Floyd's death as part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s service marking one year since his murder. 

The service was broadcast on BBC Local Radio. Listen to the service (skip to 02:03:20)

Campaign update: military spending

Recent months have seen a spike in antimilitarist activity, with Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) taking place in April and May.
The recent international #DefundTheMilitary twitter action organised by the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) had a reach of over 104 million Twitter accounts over the entire GDAMS period. Here is an overview of some of the things our network did during this time. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Individually and in collaboration with the a number of partners, our Peace & Disarmament Programme held meetings for learning on military spending and on new ways of thinking about security. If you would like to hold a meeting for learning on military spending and on new ways of thinking about peace and security, contact Daniel Jakopovich, Peace & Disarmament Programme Manager, at
With our other partners in GCOMS UK we have set up a joint lobbying tool which you can use to call on MPs to challenge the militarisation drive in parliament. Contact your MP using the lobby tool


Thanks for reading! 
Quaker Faith in Action newsletter is sent out at the end of each month. News and comment can be found on the Quakers in Britain blog:

If you would like to send news, some feedback, or update your contact details, please email
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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