Sustainable Security

‘Defence Alternatives: Human Security and the Small Nation Contribution’

Cathy Holman attended this ‘Scotland’s For Peace’ event on behalf of NFPB. It was held in the Scottish parliament building in March. She reports:

The meeting was organised to “rethink what ‘Defence’ policy should be about and to shift from aggressive expeditionary military action and nuclear weapons to a Human Security policy” and then to consider what this would mean for Scotland if they were an independent nation.

Sustainable Security links

These links are provided to further encourage understanding, discussion, action and reflection on the issues addressed by our statement of concern . They represent a range of perspectives; their inclusion here does not imply endorsement but is an indication of what we have found to be helpful.

Other Quaker work on sustainability and security concerns

  • Quaker Peace & Social Witness : working with and for Quakers in Britain, undertake work on Sustainability , Peace and Disarmament and on Economic Issues
  • NEW: Economic Mythbusters Online course , Apply by 22 April 2013 [Please note that demand for places on the Mythbusters course has been very high and applications have now exceeded the number of places currently available. Any further applications will now be held on a waiting list – as of 15th April]
  • Living Witness : “aims to support the development of Quaker corporate witness to sustainable living and explore ways of taking it to the wider community in Britain and elsewhere.” They produce a number of valuable resources, including Walk Cheerfully, Step Lightly. Our guide to 100+ ways of greening your life – available from their publications page
  • Good Lives Project at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre : they write “What kind of lives do we want for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren? What can we start doing now to help ensure that it happens? We can make changes in our own lives and in the lives of our local communities; we can, together, create the popular will for change that moves our politicians …”
  • Quaker Institute for the Future (in USA): QIF envisions a global future in which humanity is in right relationship with the commonwealth of life.
  • Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) : The Sustainable Energy Security programme seeks to galvanise Quaker action on sustainable energy use at all levels across Europe. They also have a blog, with entries covering the themes of the programme.
  • Quaker Earthcare Witness : “is a network of Friends (Quakers) in North America and other like-minded people who are taking spirit-led action to address the ecological and social crises of the world from a spiritual perspective, emphasizing Quaker process and testimonies.”
  • Earth Quaker Action Team : A new group of Quakers in the US “Building a just and sustainable economy through nonviolent direct action. “

    Other organisations
  • : this website is an initiaitive of Oxford Research Group. intends to be an important platform for promoting a better understanding of the real threats to global security in the 21st century and the policies that should be implemented to address those threats at their root cause.
  • the new economics foundation : “an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. ”
  • The World Development Movement : “a UK-based anti-poverty campaigning organisation. We have a worldwide reputation for tackling hard-hitting, controversial issues. We believe a fairer world is possible if together we take action. Just as campaigners stopped the transatlantic slave trade and won women the vote, we can end global inequality.”
  • The Equality Trust : “aims to reduce income inequality through a programme of public and political education”
  • Sustainable Development Commission : the Government’s independent adviser on sustainable development.
  • The Less Network : “The future is right here, right now. Resource depletion and climate change are right here, right now. Not in a generation’s time, not in ten year’s time, not in five years time. But today. Right here, right now. Any attempts to maintain a traditional growth path are both futile and a recipe for civilization collapse.”
  • WWF’s Strategies for Change project : “re-examines some of the assumptions that underlie current environmental campaigning, and suggests new evidence-based responses. In particular, the project looks at the importance of collective social values in driving change, and at the ways those values are shaped.”
  • International Alert work on climate change : “International Alert’s research finds that the consequences of climate change will fuel violent conflict, which itself hinders the ability of governments and local communities to adapt to the pressures of climate change.”
  • Transition Network : “A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction.”
  • Green Economics : “The Green Economics Institute aims to reformulate, rework and re-orientate mainstream economics. The Institute aims to create a new discipline of Green Economics which is better able to address today’s problems.”
  • Friends of the Earth : ”We stand for three big ideas: There is a tomorrow. Everyone gets a fair share . Change the rules” .
  • The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility : “church-based investor coalition and membership organisation working for economic justice, human rights, environmental stewardship, and corporate and investor responsibility.”
  • Forum For The Future : “works with leaders from business and the public sector to create a green, fair and prosperous world”
  • Operation Noah : “Christian organisation which provides focus and leadership in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change endangering all of God’s creation.”
  • 10:10 : “movement of people, schools, businesses and organisations cutting their carbon by 10% in a year”
  • Stop Climate Chaos Coalition : “The UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.”
  • Christian Ecology Link (CEL) : “helps members to understand and relate these responsibilities to their faith. Members can then encourage others in their local church to think seriously about these issues.”
  • Conscience – Taxes for Peace, Not War : campaigning organisation which works to create a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, not pay for war.
  • Schumacher Society : “The Schumacher Society is named after economist and philosopher Dr. E.F. Schumacher, author of ‘Small is Beautiful’, ‘The Guide for the Perplexed’, ‘Good Work’ and ‘This I Believe’. Our primary function is to promote, generate and distribute concepts and processes that enable individuals and communities to take steps towards creating a sustainable future.”
  • New Internationalist : “reports on issues of world poverty and inequality. We focus attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and the powerless worldwide in the fight for global justice.”
  • Christian Aid : “works globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality.”
  • Climate Outreach and Information Network : “a charity formed in 2004 to directly engage the public about climate change. COIN inspires lasting changes in attitudes and behaviour through the use of innovative action learning methods and by assisting people to communicate their own messages to their peers.”
  • In Context : No longer published, but all past issues of this interesting journal looking at ‘Human Sustainable Development’ are available online.
  • Public Interest Research Centre
    PIRC is an independent charity integrating key research on climate change, energy & economics – widening its audience and increasing its impact.

Money, Power & Peace ... what are you living for?

Saturday, October 20, 2012 Day conference for 18-30 year olds at Friends House, Euston Rd, London. Organised by Fellowship of Reconciliation with Pax Christi and Quaker Peace & Social Witness

One World Week

Sunday, October 21, 2012 to Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sharing Destiny – Moving Towards One World, 21-28 October. The 2012 theme asks: How can we shape our lives to contribute to an equitable future for all?

The Economics of Killing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Edinburgh Peace and Justice Group, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Uniting for Peace invite you to Vijay Mehta’s book discussion. Detail from

Tax Justice Bus Tour 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty are joining forces to take the campaign for Tax Justice on the road, with a seven-week Tax Justice Bus Tour, to promote the simple message: It’s time for Tax Justice for the poorest communities at home and globally.


Publicity, information & outreach

In more detail

(revised 2017)
Download this as a PDF

Northern Friends Peace Board (NFPB) is a body set up by Quakers in the North of Britain. Our members are representatives of all Area Meetings in the North (from Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire to the North of Scotland), along with Friends co-opted to serve for specific purposes.
Our members number around 60 people in total and we employ a full-time Coordinator and a part-time Administrative Assistant. Our office is currently based in Bolton.
Since 2017 we have been a Quaker Recognised Body.
Funding comes chiefly from Northern Area Meetings and Local Meetings, with additional support from grant-making trusts, legacies, sales of resources and donations from individuals.

A bit of history

Initially a concern just of some of the Northern English Quarterly Meetings (we were set up in 1913 ), our supporting membership soon expanded to include Friends in Scotland, in North Wales and in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, who have continued to support us since. The Quarterly Meetings were replaced by General Meetings in 1967 and at this point the responsibility for providing Representatives to, and funding for, our work was passed onto the Monthly Meetings in the area covered. In 2007/8 these became Area Meetings.
The conference that set us up minuted that the Board was to….
‘advise and encourage Friends in the North, and through them their fellow Christians and citizens generally, in the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.’

The work of the Board has inevitably varied over this time, but common threads throughout are:

  • Provision of information, comment and thinking on topical peace concerns, including work on exploring the conditions necessary for building peace in the world.
  • Publicising peace-building as an alternative to prevailing military-orientated thinking.
  • Supporting individuals and organisations in responding to current challenges — including those people facing compulsory military service, both during times of war and afterwards.
  • Making Quaker peace concerns visible and bringing Quakers together to reflect and to develop insights and thinking.
  • Building bridges between individuals and groups.
  • Being a forum for the sharing of local experiences and information peace action and peace promotion.

What we do

The following is a short list of the type of activities undertaken by NFPB over recent years:

  • Organising conferences, workshops and other events, for Friends and others.
  • Producing written publications, from printed to web-based materials.
  • Publicising opportunities for engagement and action on peace concerns, through our membership, through our links with Quaker meetings and through our web-resources
  • Organising and participating in acts of witness.

Since the mid-1980s NFPB has committed itself to:

  • serving as a resource for supporting Friends in Meetings
  • acting as a catalyst for action and thinking on peace, from the international to the personal levels
  • developing ways of working that reflect our Quaker foundation and commitment to peaceful means and ends.

In 1985 NFPB minuted that “we need to be both realistic and visionary”, reflecting on the gifts that individual Friends can each give to the endeavour and to the corporate discipline and clarity that need to be nurtured and developed.

Framework for Action

This grid – agreed by NFPB in November 2013 – maps out the broad themes of our work and, in very general terms, the type of activity we do and might undertake. Any work we do should fit into at least one part of this grid.


Our Current concerns

Some of our work is responsive, acting and reflecting on particular current concerns of our members, whilst at other times we develop work over a more sustained period.

Specific areas of activity as of Spring 2018:

  • Promoting peace building and peace action in our communities – developing and offering workshops for Quakers and others that support reflection and action, recognising that peace is rooted in justice, respect and communication.
  • Nuclear disarmament and arms conversion – witnessing and advocating moves towards nuclear disarmament, both at the local, national and international levels, as opportunities arise, and raising awareness of how people can contribute to this.

If you would like to receive updates and reports by email, please contact us

Networking and communications

We aim to develop and maintain appropriate and effective communication – to and with Friends and beyond – and to build relationships and partnerships with other organisations, networks and key individuals. Through our membership being rooted in different parts of the UK, we have explored the differing perspectives, experiences and opportunities in England, in Wales and in Scotland.
We maintain working links with a number of other bodies, Quaker and non-Quaker. For example, we are members of the Network for Peace, the International Peace Bureau, Scotland’s for Peace and the Network of Christian Peace Organisations. Particularly important is our relations with Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), where we have cross-representation on its Peace and Disarmament and Peace Education programmes. We also attend Britain Yearly Meeting (at which we offer talks or interest groups when appropriate) and the annual Peace and Service Consultations of the Europe and Middle East Section (EMES)of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). Other relationships with individuals and organisations arise through our work.
We have a regularly updated and well-used website, linked with other web-based resources. We produce periodic mailings each year, to Northern Quaker Meetings, to individual Quakers and interested organisations and people. We also try to ensure a visible presence at meetings of Britain Yearly Meeting and other Quaker events when appropriate.

If you would like to receive updates and reports by email, please contact us

Our structure

Our meetings
The meetings of the Board and Executive are held in the manner of Friends, with quiet worship being the context in which discussion takes place and decisions are made. Decisions are minuted at the time, with some additional notes appended to minutes on occasion where a detailed minute is not needed. The Board and the Executive each have Clerks to facilitate this process. Sometimes one person has Clerked both bodies, but more recently the roles have been divided. Our Treasurer is another key member of the Executive, with responsibilities for financial oversight, in consultation with other Executive members and the Co-ordinator. There are normally three or four meetings a year for Representatives, taking place at different parts of the North, usually held at Quaker Meeting Houses. Through inviting speakers and linking up with local Friends’ concerns and activities, our meetings also serve to strengthen Quaker and non-Quaker peace networks.

The role of Representatives
Representatives are appointed by Area Meetings and key parts of their role include:

  • Being a two-way channel of communication between Area Meetings and NFPB
  • Being aware of Friends’ peace concerns and guiding the direction of NFPB’s work.
  • Contributing to the work of the Board by serving in a range of capacities, on various sub-groups and committees in partnership with the Co-ordinator to implement our work.

Charitable status and trustees
We became an independent charity in 1996, registered in Scotland as Charity Number SC 024632. We report annually to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) (the equivalent of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and with similar reporting and accounting requirements). There is not currently a requirement that we also register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales but do try to work within its requirements as well as those of OSCR.
Our Executive Committee serve as our Trustees, who in their turn meet four times a year. Six Friends currently serve on our Executive Committee, these being appointed for up to two terms of three years. Financial administrative tasks are currently undertaken by staff in our office.

Sub groups
In addition to the Board and Executive, we appoint sub-groups to undertake particular tasks. These range from our Nominations Committee to project groups. These report regularly to both the Board and Executive.

The Board’s current Co-ordinator and its Administrative Assistant work from an office in Bolton, Lancashire, in a town-centre Methodist building.


Sources of funding

The core of our funding comes from Quakers in the North of Britain. Most of this is contributed by Area Meetings, although some Area Meetings have devolved the responsibility for financial contributions to NFPB to their Local Meetings.
Friends also provide funds through collections and through individual donations. A smaller amount of funding comes from grant-making charitable trusts that donate on an annual basis, and a smaller amount still comes from sales of our publications and from fees for events.
We do apply for and have, over the years, secured additional funding from charitable Trusts for specific areas of project work. This has given us scope for developing our resources and activities that would not otherwise be practicable.
Over the past five years we have received generous legacies from a small number of Friends. We regularly review our reserves and how best to use these to take our work forward.

Budgeting and planning

Our Trustees agree a budget each autumn, our Financial Year running from January to December. On the basis of this budget, we propose a suggested amount per member that Area Meetings might use as a guideline for their financial contributions to NFPB. Whilst some Meetings are not able to use this figure, due to insufficient funds locally, in general terms it has proved to be a very effective way for us to plan our financial affairs, with the support, generosity and cooperation of Area Meetings.

Contact details:
Philip Austin, Co-ordinator, Victoria Hall, Knowsley Street, Bolton BL1 2AS
Email: [email protected] Web:
01204 382330 Charity number: SC 024632

File attachments: 
PDF icon about_nfpb_march_2018.pdf275.82 KB

"Making Nonviolent Revolution"

Monday, July 16, 2012 to Monday, July 30, 2012


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