Quakers join lobby on Trident ahead of crucial vote

By agency reporter
July 13, 2016

Quakers around Britain are lobbying their Members of Parliament ahead of a crucial vote on 18 July on whether to replace all four Trident submarines, which carry the UK's nuclear weapons system.

Today (13 July 2016), in partnership with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and twenty other national organisations, Quakers will be attending a mass lobby of MPs in the Westminster Parliament.

Quakers have long opposed nuclear weapons. In 1955, Quakers' representative body said: “To rely on the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent is faithless: to use them is a sin".

In March 2015 the Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, Paul Parker, was among 26 UK faith representatives who signed a statement which said,"Nuclear weapons violate the principle of dignity for every human being that is common to each of our faith traditions."

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, later read the statement to a mass rally in Trafalgar Square.

Young Quakers have joined a collection of youth and student groups, including the Student Christian Movement in a letter calling on the British Government to scrap plans to replace the Trident nuclear programme.

The young Quaker group, Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM) said, “We believe that renewing Trident would be a step back from the pursuit of a peaceful world, and, in its destructiveness, disregards that of God in every person. We feel that the UK's resources should go into something that sustains life, rather than destroys it. We urge the government not to recommission Trident and to focus on peaceful approaches to national security and conflict resolution."

* Read the SCM letter here

* Quakers in Britain Trident briefing here

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 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/

[Ekk/4]

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