On this site
Faith in Action
humanity of all people, including those who break society's conventions
or its laws. Try to discern new growing points in social and economic
life. Seek to understand the causes of injustice, social unrest and
fear. Are you working to bring about a just and compassionate society
which allows everyone to develop their capacities and fosters the
desire to serve?
From Advices and
Our quiet worship
shapes and is shaped
by our active engagement in the world. Over the centuries,
Quakers have come to recognise, to affirm and to act on principles of
simplicity, peace integrity, equality, social justice and
reverence for all
living things. The way in which we have expressed this, in words
and in action, have come to be known as our testimonies.
Bolton Quaker Meeting, as in others around the country and the world,
we work together and we work individually, supported by one another.
The following are just a few snapshots of what some Bolton
Quakers have been involved in recently.
Being a Youth Offending Panel
Justice - putting things right - seems a better way of tackling
unacceptable behaviour in young people than mere punishment and this is
what Youth Offending Panels aim to do. They give offenders an
opportunity to face their victims and work out ways they can pay-back
for the hurt they have caused.
Without true justice there can
never be peace and for me being a panel member, enabling young people
to face up to the consequences of their actions and giving them the
opportunity to turn themselves around, is a step (albeit small) towards
a peaceful world.
Being a Volunteer Mediator
am involved as a trained volunteer mediator for Bolton
service. The project, named 'Safer Communities' encourages
facilitates resolutions between individuals, families or neighbours in
conflict with each other. Referrals can come from the Police, the Local
Authority, other agencies or the individuals themselves.
each individual and allow them the space to explain the problem from
their own perspective and hope to encourage the parties to meet in a
neutral, safe, environment facilitated by us, and work towards a
resolution such as a written agreement. Alternatively we facilitate
situations where each party meets separately and is helped by a
mediator who, through sharing and communication works towards
agreement between the parties.
As an attender at Bolton Meeting, I am aware of the testimonies and
regularly reflect on how my life and work relates to them.
work as a mediator encourages me to listen and value each person's
experience and perspective, and even when I sense that one party is
behaving less considerately than another, endeavour to treat them with
equal value and respect. This is done by talking, soul searching and
uncovering each person’s thoughts and feelings about their current
situation, which enables us to gain insight into the truth so we can
find a way out.
The point for me of this work is to try to and
help those in disagreement with each other find a way through, via
negotiation to a place of peace and acceptance. This will hopefully
help relationships develop and sustain in a more positive way.
Peace Work as
Bolton Meeting's Peace
Quakers, we are called to stand firm against violence and to oppose war
and the preparation for war (Advice 31). Working for peace is
inseparable from striving for justice and protecting the environment.
Local Meeting has recently contacted local MPs on issues such as
opposing Trident replacement and preventing exploitation by gangmasters.
I am involved in peace campaigns with Northern Friends Peace Board and
as joint secretary of
Bolton CND/Stop the War Group.
I was informed and motivated by Quaker
Peace and Social Witness Conferences on Quakers and the State
and on Modern Slavery.
Candlelit Quaker Peace Vigil
Befriending Refugees And Asylum
Seekers - BRASS
runs a weekly drop-in centre, staffed by volunteers. Numbers of
‘refused’ asylum seekers become destitute because they refuse
sign a document agreeing to deportation. They are then not eligible for
housing or financial support.
The project provides
opportunities to meet friends, share a hot meal and enjoy a game of
table tennis or pool. A destitute asylum seeker is provided with a £6
bag of food each week through voluntary donations. As volunteers we
ensure that all feel welcome, by providing a listening ear,
helping with language problems and keeping the tea
topped up. Many asylum seekers have come to feel the drop in as a kind
of extended family and hopefully our friendship goes a little way
towards addressing the appalling experiences many have had before
reaching the UK.
Development & Adult Education
have worked over the years in a number of settings helping the local
community to develop projects, facilities and local resources to enable
them to improve their lives, with opportunities through education. My
Quaker faith has enabled me to accept the uniqueness and inner light of
each individual, whatever their background. Sometimes this light has
been subdued through living in poverty, surviving on benefits, perhaps
having alcohol or drug problems, or a lack of positive opportunities to
respond to their lives. I have seen that with time, resources, funding
and support, great things can be achieved for the benefit of the
individual and their community e.g. children's playschemes, holiday
activities, community drama and art, community businesses, food co-ops,
housing support etc.
Friends Peace Board
I am very
fortunate to be in paid work, Co-ordinating the activities of this
group. Members from
all over the North
of Britain meet and learn about peace, and develop programmes of
advise and encourage' Friends and others 'in the active promotion of
all its height and breadth'. Peace
feel very overwhelming. Through
I hope I can help people become better informed, better supported and
focussed in what they can do for peace.
It is important for me that peace is built on peaceful
foundations - violent means tend to leave a legacy of more violence.
Also that we look at some of the underlying
conditions that contribute to peace - from social conditions at the
to climate change at the international level.