Quakers take a clear stand for peace and against military action. The words we have written and action we have taken in opposition to war and in support of peace have come to be known as ‘the Quaker peace testimony’.
Peace Committee supports Quakers in Central England to put our peace testimony into practice. We call it a ‘testimony’ because it is how we witness to the world about our beliefs. Our experience is that everyone can respond to and express the living spirit of God within them.
Working for peace can cover a wide range of issues – recently, Peace Committee have been working on:
- Economic Inequality: we seek to uphold the worth of everyone in our society, recognising that economic inequality is one of the ‘seeds of war’. We support efforts to reduce the gap between rich and poor, through tax justice, compassionate welfare and corporate responsibility.
- Militarisation in Society: we oppose the normalisation of a ‘military ethos’ in our schools and wider society. Children and adults must learn to think critically and to resolve conflicts peacefully.
- The Centenary of WWI: the centenary must be an opportunity to learn the lessons of history and say ‘never again’. We are working with the German congregation in Birmingham to produce an exhibition about the experiences of the German community at that time.
A small group of Quakers meet regularly to discern which areas we are called to work on, and consider where we can best put our energies at the moment. Any members or attenders in Central England are welcome to attend these meetings as ‘co-opted’ members of peace committee. The committee is not here to ‘do peace’ on behalf Central England Quakers, but to help Quakers in the area meeting get involved.
Peace Committee has links to other Quaker peace groups, including Quaker Asylum & Refugee Network, Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture and the Quaker Service Memorial Trust. We also connect with the wider peace movement, such as Church and Peace, Methodist Tax Justice Network and Veterans for Peace.