Northern Friends Peace Board marked the centenary of its formation with a party at the newly refurbished Manchester Meeting House. Set up after a peace conference of Quakers in the North in January 1913, the Board has undertaken a variety of work with and for Northern Friends, supported by funding and representatives from throughout the North of Britain.
The gathering in Manchester was reminded of the early challenges of the first world war and of supporting conscientious objectors through to the cold war and more recent conflict. The 70 Friends present also heard how the Board’s work had encompassed broader aspects of peace, recognising the roots of conflict in injustice, for example. Past staff and members joined with those involved now and invited guests. The first Secretary of NFPB, Robert Long (serving from 1913 to 1942) was represented by three of his grandchildren.
A pack of materials relating to the centenary is being prepared for Meetings, which will include a booklet launched on the day of our celebration. An accompanying exhibition was also on show and will be available in a variety of formats for Friends to use.
NFPB members present at the gathering spoke of their appreciation for all the service that Friends have given to the Board over the years, of getting a better sense of the significance of its work and an eagerness to engage with Friends in discerning priorities for future work and witness.
Information about activities and resources relating to the centenary is being regularly updated on NFPB’s website at http://nfpb.org.uk/projects/centenary