Quaker responses to remembrance are varied, as this piece on the Quakers in Britain website illustrates. Beyond the summary included in that, we’ve also heard of other Friends’ witness, often with others, around this period. Some are joining with other faiths and churches, such as in Paisley for an interfaith vigil, and in Wythenshaw (South Manchester), promoting a children’s peace art project.
Friends are also amongst the membership of Veterans for Peace , whose presence at the cenotaph in London in recent years has moved all who have witnessed it, both directly and indirectly. Promotion and distribution of white poppies is not always an easy path, with one Friend reporting being abused for doing so in a public place and others having to negotiate different time and places for laying of wreaths of white poppies.
Some Meeting Houses are close to where the civic remembrance ceremonies take place in towns and cities, with those gathered for worship being very aware of the presence of many from the armed services in close vicinity. Friends in one Meeting House will be having readings of poems from the work of Anthony Owen, as well as putting some of these poems in the windows of the Meeting House. Friends will also support the laying of a white wreath at Faslane Trident nuclear submarine base.
Above all, whilst this is a time for remembrance, our sadness at the cost of war, and our commitment to promoting and building peace continue throughout the year. We uphold all who are gathered, or on their own, in prayer, witness, action and reflection.