The same but very different

NFPB’s meeting (that was to have been in Glasgow this month) took place online, with 25 Friends present during the morning from across the north, and a representative from Quaker Peace & Social Witness.

Whilst smaller groupings of NFPB had met via video conference since March, this was the first of our representatives.

Shorter than our normal full-day meetings, the meeting had a familiar feel in spite of the radically different format and circumstances. In opening worship, Friends reflected on the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Coordinator and trustees shared a number of reports, covering activities since our meeting in February, our finances last year and for the first half of this year, and a strategic review meeting held in May. In considering future priorities, Friends were clear that a rethinking of security should be a priority, so it is appropriate that we have recently become an affiliate of the Rethinking Security initiative.

In sharing news of peace concerns and activities, members talked about how they had been involved in finding ways of taking action in spite of the restrictions necessitated by the pandemic, from webinars, to wider networking and developing online resources. There were also accounts of tentative steps that were being taken to be active beyond the computer keyboard, with vigils and other socially distanced acts of public witness.

During our meeting, Friends reflected that the pandemic had highlighted both positives and negatives in society. Building positive peace, with others and with the planet and rooted in justice, was fundamental to our role, we heard. Friends wanted more opportunities to meet up online to reflect and share, and we shall be developing a simple process to enable this to happen.

Thank you to Friends and Meetings who have continued to support our work.

The following are links to some of the projects, news, resources and initiatives referred to in our meeting, listed alphabetically.

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