Quaker faith in action newsletter

The below is the latest news from the Quakers

Quaker faith in action

March 2023

Dear Friend,

      “…we know that there isn’t one right thing to do, the important thing is to do our best, and not give up. We each commit to listen to each other, love and support each other, work and worship together. […] The universe is participatory, there are no bystanders. Our commitment to climate justice encourages us to see everything we do as something which is of god or against god.”
– Living Witness 2022 Closing Minute
This month many Quakers will be gathering in London with others on Friday 21 April to take a stand for climate justice. If you’d like to be there, you can find out more here. We are holding you in the Light.

Action on climate justice can take many forms, as well as protest. This newsletter looks at some of the many ways you can find a place in the climate justice movement and some of the heartfelt and heartening work Quakers are already undertaking.

In Friendship, 

Faith in Action Coordinator

Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW)


The Big One: Climate Protest 21 – 24 April

                                                                                                                                          Image: Unsplash by Markus Spiske

On the weekend of 21 – 24 April 2023, Quakers across Britain will be gathering with others in London to give witness to our concern for climate justice. If you will be attending, Westminster Meeting Library will be serving as a base from 9:00 until 17:00 each day (except Sunday morning, when it is in use for meeting for worship). You can find more information about what will be happening each day here.

Many Friends have spoken about wanting a visible Quaker presence so if you have banners, bringing them would be much appreciated. You can also buy a Quakers for Climate Justice t-shirt here if you would like.

If you would like more information, please contact faithinaction@quaker.org.uk


Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS)

13 April – 9 May 2023

                                                                                                               Image: Global Campaign for Military Spending

Quakers will once again be supporting the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS).

This annual event is timed to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s figures on the colossal sums spent worldwide on armed forces. This is money which contributes to military carbon emissions and diverts funding from work to stop climate breakdown. GDAMS helps to spread the word about military spending while the media’s attention is focused on the issue. It makes it an ideal time to hold a vigil or join an existing action
See here for further details and for any queries or to let us know what your meeting will be doing, please contact dixew@quaker.org.uk


Awards Made by Quaker Housing Trust

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Quaker Housing Trust made awards in February to three great organisations to create safe and secure homes.Ella’s in London received a pledge to support the purchase of a new safe house for women who have been trafficked. Assist Sheffield received an award to support the purchase of new property to house refugees.  An award was also made to Deptford Ragged Trust to support the development of 33 flats for young people who have experienced homelessness in south London.

If you would like to support future work by the Quaker Housing Trust, you can donate here to make sure we can make awards like this in the future.


Free session on nonviolent Indigenous (Adivasi) resistance to coal mining

                                                                                                                                                 Image: Soni Sori by Garima JainA way to both learn and teach, the recording from this month’s Peace Education Network is now available to watch here. This skills share from London Mining Network demonstrates a collaborative teaching workshop exploring the experiences of frontline communities resisting the impacts of mega coal mining. It highlights what is at stake for people on the frontlines of defending against climate breakdown. 

This recording could support you to run an event in your community to discuss climate change, especially as protests in London could put it back in people’s minds this month.

The next skillshare will be with Positive Negatives and Life Worlds on 21 June. Contact peaceedu@quaker.org.uk for more information.


Getting active on climate justice after April

                                                                                                                                                 Image: Quakers in Britain
Quakers in Britain will be offering the following online sessions in the month after 21 April to look at a range of ways to take action if you feel energised by having gone to London, or want to act on climate justice but don’t feel that large protests are where you are being led.

  • The Big One Debrief on 3 May: a space to be together and prayerfully reflect on the action in London from 21 April – 23 April (link to be sent to those who attended)
  • Nurturing Nature on 9 May: looking at practical local projects protecting nature, with case studies from Spiceland, Hoddeston and Norton Local Meetings
  • Building Community Power on 18 May: drawing on ideas from Rupert Read’s ‘moderate flank’ and Citizens UK, with case studies from Newcastle and Taunton Local Meetings
  • Pressuring Powerful Institutions on 22 May: focusing on influencing existing power structures, with case studies from Quakers involved in climate change direct action and Quakers in Britain’s Loss and Damage campaign
Adult Education Grants open
                                                                                                                                                    Image: Quakers in Britain       
“It has been a nourishing, challenging, transformative experience, which will remain with me going forward.”  – MA graduate in Gender, Media and CultureAny mature student or graduate who is a member of Britain Yearly Meeting, or an attender of at least five years, can apply for an Adult Education Grant to follow a course that will equip them to serve society or Quakers in Britain if they need financial support to do so.

For more information on the grants and how to apply, please click here.

International peacebuilding Special Interest Meeting

Saturday 22 April 16:00 – 17:00 (BST)

                                                                                    Image: AfriNov (Benson Khamasi in action delivering nonviolence training)

Come along to hear about QPSW supported international peacebuilding work including nonviolence in East Africa and the conciliation programme.

Guest speakers are Benson Khamasi (Programme Officer at AfriNov, Kenya) and Ivan Hutnik from the QPSW international conciliation programme. They will share their experiences about nonviolence and conciliation approaches in international contexts and offer some thoughts about the importance of truth and integrity in their work.

This online Special Interest Meeting (SIM) is part of the preparation for Yearly Meeting 2023. To attend you’ll first need to register for Yearly Meeting, you’ll then receive an email when the online info goes live to book your place. More SIMs organised by QPSW will be announced in this mailing, so keep an eye out for the full list!

We really want to highlight things that are happening all over the country so if you have some good news or know of someone else’s work you think we should celebrate, please email us at faithinaction@quaker.org.uk

This month we’re focusing on just a few of the ways Quakers are taking action on climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.

Norton Quakers: Creating a nature haven

                                                                                                                                      Image: Tees Valley Wildlife Trust   
Norton Quakers partnered with The Wildlife Trust to create a nature garden in the grounds of their meeting house, despite having to overcome the challenge of it being filled with unmarked graves! You can watch a video about how they creatively and collaboratively approached this here, with the aim of creating a green space for nature and their community.

Malvern Quakers: Vigil for Defenders of the Earth

                                                                                                                                    Image: Melanie Jameson, 2023   
Malvern Quakers held a vigil in partnership with their local Extinction Rebellion group to  to honour people who have died or been imprisoned defending the earth – a moving example of how we can work with others in a our community on our concerns. You can read more here.

Chelmsford Meeting: Supporting Activists on Trial

                                                                                                                                      Image: Chelmsford Quaker Meeting   
Quakers in Chelmsford Quaker Meeting hosted Just Stop Oil protesters who were in the area for their trials, providing valuable support for their protest without being at the site themselves. You can read more here.