– a brief update of recent activities.
Whilst Covid is still with us, we are moving out of the pandemic patterns of working and gathering, and this autumn is a typically busy one.
Following our successful hybrid/blended meeting in June, a further meeting for NFPB members took place in late September. The reduced level of train services had an impact on the numbers who attended in person at Glasgow Meeting House, but we had a rich meeting. Input from Livvy Hanks and Janet Fenton, on loss and damage in relation to climate change and on nuclear weapons reminded us clearly of our common humanity and of the imperative for taking action. NFPB members also gave further time to sharing responses to the war in Ukraine; we continue to update our webpage with information and resources to help promote possible peaceful ways forward in this distressing war and are planning some additional opportunities for Friends to work together online on these issues.
Our meeting in Glasgow concluded with Friends sharing ideas on the role of NFPB and its Representatives in supporting Friends in their peace action and witness. Some NFPB members stayed in Glasgow after our meeting and joined others for a meeting for worship at the gate of the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde. A further meeting of NFPB members will take place at Lancaster Meeting House on 26 November; we would welcome interested Friends
Partnership with others is a key part of our way of working and, as with our own meetings, getting together in person has resumed in some cases. The Network of Christian Peace Organisations and the FWCC EMES Peace and Service Consultation (now Network) have both held hybrid meetings. It has been important during the past three years to be able to continue to connect online with these communities of faith and action, but a blessing to be able to spend time in conversation and reflection outside of the more formal meeting agendas. Our work can be much richer when we work together and we look forward to building on these relationships during this time of continuing challenge.
The NFPB office has, for many years, been in the Methodists’ Victoria Hall in the centre of Bolton. We learned at the end of September that we shall have to vacate the premises by early December and are currently in the process of preparing for a move. We have a lot of resources and records, which we are working hard to thin out. The work involved in preparing for the move is taking a fair bit of additional staff and volunteer time and this inevitably has an impact on other work. We hope to be up-and-running in our new space by mid-December and will let Friends know of our new address when that has been finalised.