Quakers

NFPB Update November 2015

NFPB meetings

Northern Friends Peace Board has met three times during 2015. Its fourth and final meeting of the year will be in Lancaster on 28th November. Previous meetings have been in Perth, Leeds and Glasgow. After our meetings in Scotland NFPB members joined with Scottish Friends for Meetings for Worship at the Faslane naval base (and home of Trident nuclear submarine). In Leeds we joined Leeds Friends in a public witness for the non-renewal of the UK nuclear weapons’ system, Trident. This concern will also be on our agenda at our Lancaster meeting.
Interested Friends and Attenders are welcome to join us at our meetings to consider these and other areas of concern. Contact the NFPB office (see overleaf) for further information.

h3. Challenging Militarism, then and now.

As well as the Meetings for Worship at Faslane mentioned above, there are regular Meetings at Menwith Hill and at Fylingdales. Our website calendar has information about these.
NFPB has been part of a working group of peace bodies that have worked together to promote and produce resources for the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. This will be taking place again in mid-April 2016 and it could be timely if readers want to begin planning for that.
NFPB Members and other Friends have been busy developing resources that mark the centenary of the first world war, with a
particular focus on the introduction of conscription in 1916. Events and resources are publicised via our website calendar and social media sites.


h3. Building Peace in Diverse Britain

We ran a second young people’s event earlier this year, bringing teenagers together for a day of workshops and discussion on the theme of ‘Young people, peace and community’. This brought our most recent phase of work on this concern to a close and a report of the last five years’ work was published at the end of September (see http://bit.ly/20tuHwQ) .
NFPB members have expressed a strong hope that we can continue to develop this strand of our work and we are currently looking for new members to join the project group. We were pleased to be able to share this work at the recent conference in London on Interfaith Peacebuilding, organised by the Quaker Committee on Christian and Interfaith Relationships.


h3. Alternative approaches to building security

Before the UK General Election we produced and distributed a short leaflet encouraging candidates to engage in thinking around building security through non-military means. Using the title ‘Security for the Common Good’, we have subsequently adapted the leaflet for Friends and others to use with sitting MPs, and with members of the Government. Copies are available to download from http://nfpb.org.uk/genel2015 and in printed form from the NFPB office. At our NFPB meeting in Perth we considered the ‘Ammerdown Invitation’ document and encourage others to explore and respond to these issues. The text can be found at: : “Security for the future: in search of a new vision” – http://bit.ly/ZdILQ2
Our project group on Sustainable security is planning a spring conference to give support to Friends and others in engaging with media around these concerns. We shall publish details of that event in due course.

h3. Gathering, networking and sharing information

We are keen to support small and informal regional NFPB gatherings, for Friends and Attenders to spend time sharing concerns and information, engaging in some joint activity, in worship and over a shared lunch … or whatever else Friends would find helpful. If you would like to discuss hosting one of these, please contact Philip Austin at the NFPB office.
Our website and social media pages are regularly updated and we are always happy to hear from Friends with news and information that we can share with a wider audience using these tools.
http://www.facebook.com/nfpb1
http://twitter.com/nfpb1
We have for sale posters and postcards, as well as tea-towels, that were initially produced for our NFPB Centenary in 2013. Follow this link – for an order form (http://bit.ly/1Mco6Ny) – or phone the NFPB office for information. If you would like some of these for an event on a sale or return basis, we would be happy to supply these.

h3. NFPB Trustees review

Our Executive Committee, which acts as the trustee body or NFPB, had a short residential meeting at the end of October. They considered current and anticipated priorities and challenges. They also, since they were meeting at Swarthmoor Hall, took the opportunity to meet with local Friends. This was a chance to hear and explore a range of peace concerns, with the issue of Trident submarine production at neighbouring Barrow in Furness being particularly high on the agenda.

We sometimes appoint as trustees Friends who have not been NFPB representatives. If you are interested in possible service in this or other capacities (including Clerking) with NFPB, please do get in touch.

Thank you Friends for your continuing support.

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NFPB Update, March 2016

European Connections

In November we were represented at the Peace and Service Consultation near Brussels for Friends in Europe and the Middle East. Taking place against a backdrop of the security clampdown in the city after the Paris attacks , the gathering agreed a short statement, which can be read in full at: http://www.fwccemes.org/news/european-quakers-call-for-an-end-to-the-cyc....
The statement concludes: “The faith that led us over the past centuries to deny war, oppose slavery, support conscientious objection, help rescue Jewish children in the 1930s, care for refugees and rebuild war-torn Europe, impels us today to pledge ourselves to serve our neighbours, whoever and wherever they may be, and to take a principled stand against the belief that violence is the solution to conflict.
“We call on those in power to reject military responses, and adopt non-violent strategies to bring about stability and safety for all people.”

Militarism and military spending – asking questions and promoting alternatives

NFPB is again supporting the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which this year will be on 18th April and is now part of an ongoing Global Campaign On Military Spending. We are linking with a range of other peace
organisations to encourage awareness and action on the issue. There are a number of resources for people to learn more and suggestions for taking action at: https://demilitarize.org.uk
The wider context of militarism more generally was the subject of a recent seminar in Leeds, at which we were well represented. This was the first of a series of preparatory meetings around the world that will feed into an international conference in Berlin in the early autumn on the theme of “Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda”.

Veterans for Peace

We have met recently with members of Veterans for Peace, an organisation of former servicemen and women dedicated to the abolition of war. Their members’ wartime experiences range from World War 2 through to Afghanistan. They are are available and keen to run school workshops that focus on three questions;
1. Why join the army?
2. What is army training like?
3. What is war like?
They help the students to find answers to these questions through their own experiences and the use of video.
If you are interested and require more information please email [email protected]

Tea towels – organic and green

We have reprinted our tea-towels – with the quotation from William Penn – on organic and fair-trade cotton. The new printing has the checked border in green rather than red and are still available for £5 each plus P&P.
Go to: http://nfpb.org.uk/news/2015-12-1/peace-tea-towels

Engaging with media on peace concerns

We are planning a day conference on how we can engage with news and other media in asking questions and putting forward alternative approaches to security in our interlinked and inter-dependent world. The conference is due to take place in Darlington on Saturday 11th June – see our website at http://nfpb.org.uk/mediaconf for more details as they become available.

WW1 Centenary – focus on conscience and choices

Northern Friends continue to play a part in planning and putting on a range of materials and activities that explore the challenges to conscience during the 1914-18 war. In Hexham, the theme Voices and Choices provided a framework for the town’s twin communities in France and Germany, Noyen and Metzingen, to join as three communities remembering the individual choices made during World War 1 and reflect on the decisions we face 100 years later. A fortnight of activities during November saw an exhibition, music, and talks and discussions on both past and current issues of militarism.
In February, Friends in East Cheshire focussed specifically on the relevance of the introduction of conscription in 1916. An exhibition shown in Macclesfield throughout the ten days was supplemented by workshops for families and a storytelling performance.

NFPB Meetings

At the end of November NFPB members gathered in Lancaster for their final meeting of the year, with Robin Bowles completing his second term as Clerk. We were pleased to be joined by Friends from Lancaster and the region, hearing from them about their concerns and action on social justice. Brian Larkin, from the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, talked about the range of their work on current peace education and Trident-related concerns, as well as the progress of their plans to have a memorial to conscientious objectors placed in a prominent location in the city.
The NFPB Executive, who serve as Trustees, spent two days at Swarthmoor Hall in October, taking stock of our current work and looking ahead. They also took the opportunity to meet with local Friends, with the links between neighbouring Barrow-in-Furness and the possible renewal of Trident forming a key focus for discussion. From that exploration and sharing of perspectives, a small group is looking at ways of developing further work on the interlinked issues of job-security, austerity, climate change and nuclear disarmament. Some proposals for how this might be taken forward in the Barrow area will be considered when the Board meets again, in Nottingham on 5th March.

Sowing the Seeds of Peace

NFPB joined with South Manchester Friends to facilitate a weekend workshop at Glenthorne in November. The weekend was a mix of reflection, discussion, listening and worship. With the violent attacks in Paris fresh in people’s minds, the group explored the challenges and opportunities for building and taking action for peace, drawing inspiration from our Quaker heritage and from new insights and cultures in Britain today.
If other meetings would like help in planning an event on a peace theme, from a half-day to a whole weekend, please do get in touch.

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Continuing vision and commitment - NFPB meeting in Nottingham

NFPB members  meeting in Nottingham

Gathering in the south of the NFPB area, Northern Friends Peace Board members were in Nottingham for their first members’ meeting of the year. The warmth of the welcome helped the day get off well, as Friends arrived from the North of Scotland, Lincolnshire, North Wales, Cumbria and all parts between (not forgetting two from London). We were pleased to be joined by several new Representatives, whilst also remembering former NFPB members who had recently died.

Meeting for worship at Faslane

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

11am main gate

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Meeting for worship at Faslane

Sunday, September 25, 2016

11am main gate

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Meeting for worship at Faslane

Sunday, June 19, 2016

11am Main gate

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Meeting for worship at Faslane

Sunday, May 22, 2016

11am Main gate

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War & Conscience: Choices Then and Now 1916-2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 to Saturday, February 27, 2016

Exhibition by East Cheshire Quakers, coinciding with the centenary of conscription – http://www.macclesfieldreflects.org.uk/2015/02/15/feb-2016-war-and-consc...

Religion and Violence

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 to Friday, November 25, 2016

Course at Woodbrooke http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk

The Theology of Quaker Testimony

Monday, September 12, 2016 to Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Course at Woodbrooke http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk

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