Quakers’ online project serialising the diaries of five young people who lived during and opposed World War1 goes live today (4 August) and is launched as 2,000 Quakers attend Yearly Meeting Gathering (YMG) 2014 in Bath.
Quaker writer and broadcaster Geoffrey Durham read extracts from the moving diaries at the launch this mornng at Bath Quaker Meeting House,
The white feather diaries shed light on the hidden stories of those whose bravery saved lives and changed British legislation leading to a wider recognition of the legitimacy of the right to refuse to kill. The diaries offer an insight into overlooked aspects of war: resistance to killing and the relief of suffering.
The launch is timed to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WWI and Quakers at YMG will be reflecting on their forebears’ response. From 5.00pm to 6.00pm today, some Quakers will join other peace groups outside Bath Abbey in a silent vigil, to which all are welcome.
The white feather diaries, as well as new Quaker peace education resources, challenge young people to think how they would face war. Conscience and Conviction are powerful resources focused for primary and secondary levels. Historical documents, letters, posters and images, will enable children to understand the dilemmas of war and to develop their own moral compass.
* Yearly Meeting is the annual gathering of members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. In session it is the body in which concerns affecting the life and witness of Quakers in Britain may be shared and tested. It seeks to come to know the will of God on various affairs brought before it and is the final constitutional authority of the Religious Society of Friends in England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Yearly Meeting Gathering is held triennially.