Sharing faith adventurously in Quaker Week

By agency reporter
October 1, 2015

During Quaker Week (3-11 October) Quakers around Britain will find simple and imaginative ways to share and deepen their faith.

Online and on posters, five Quakers in Britain reflect how, beginning with stillness, their faith becomes action.

Jan Arriens, of Clun Valley in Shropshire, says that for him being adventurous is about going forward with faith.

“Like a blind person tapping the edge of a cliff with a stick and finding that each tap extends the ledge on which they stand."

“When I was new to Quakers, being adventurous was to start corresponding with someone on Death Row and then to involve others," he says.

His faith in action is centred on stillness which he says might for some be found in music, nature, woodwork, arts and crafts. Or through unexpected people. “We may be inspired by acts of courage and selflessness," says Jan. There's something in humanity that makes us care. We have empathy with totally strange people and that can be deeply inspiring."

Another Quaker, Jenn Mui of Wandsworth, says her faith is inseparable from the experience of daily life.

Rhiannon Redpath, of Street in Somerset, says for her, Quakerism is where spirituality and politics meet. “My stillness is with me all the time, whether in Quaker meeting or outside parliament. The Inner Light continues to support and guide me in what I do."

Rhiannon has been a peace worker, placed in London by Quaker Peace and Social Witness and also a programme assistant on peace and disarmament for Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). She says: “Our amazing history of action, justice and equality allows me to be confident to speak truth to power."

Around Britain, as well as worship, there are many events to raise the profile of Quakers. Each reflects the spiritual source of Quaker faith and the deep still place from which to act. They include:

- Friday 2 October, from 7.00pm, a workshop to try to discover how to simplify our lives. At Worcester Quakers' Meeting House, Sansome Place, Worcester WR1 1UG.
- A free art exhibition Stillness and Energy, Peace and Vitality.3 – 31 October from 10.00am to 7.00pm daily, at Claridge House, Lingfield RH7 6QH.

- Tuesday 6 October, 6.30pm to 9.00pm, at Ipswich Friends Meeting House, 39 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich IP1 3JH, Quaker Quest: exploring Quaker views on God, equality, worship and peace. Four sessions on 7,14, 21,and 28 October.

- Thursday 8 October, 8.00pm, talk on 'The Making of a British Soldier' by Ben Griffin, founder of Veterans for Peace and peace campaigner, ex-Parachute Regiment and SAS, who served in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Ludlow Assembly Rooms, Mill St, SY8 1AZ.
- Thursday, 8 October, 7.00pm, Quaker Meeting House, 12a Queen Parade, Harrogate HG2 8ER, a screening of the CND film, The War Game, the nuclear war drama created by and withheld by the BBC for nearly twenty years.

* Around the world, on 4 October, World Quaker Day, a global picture of Quakers will be created when many will post stories of faith on www.worldquakerday.org , on Twitter and Facebook.

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends.

* Around 22,000 people attend 480 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

* Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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