Category - conscientious objection

  • May 16, 2016

    British pacifists have urged opponents of war to become “conscientious objectors” by challenging militarist values and attitudes in everyday life.

  • May 14, 2016

    When Norman Gaudie refused to participate in World War I he acted from the deepest conviction that all life is sacred.He knew it was wrong to take a life and so he refused to fight. Faced with conscription, he was prepared to die for his belief.

  • May 13, 2016

    To mark International Conscientious Objectors’ Day 2016, the First World War Peace Forum will hold a ceremony of remembrance on Sunday 15 May at 12 noon in Tavistock Square, WC1.

  • March 15, 2016

    March 2nd 2016 marked 100 years since the first inclusive right of conscientious objection became law in the United Kingdom. To commemorate the centenary, the NGO Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War hosted a discussion evening featuring MPs from three different parties and Sir Richard Jolly, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary General.

  • March 1, 2016

    Tomorrow (2 March) marks the centenary of the passing of the Military Service Act which brought compulsory military service into British law and with it, for the first time, the right to conscientious objection.

  • January 25, 2016

    In the midst of World War I, as conscription came into force, Quakers worked with parliament to ensure men had the right to refuse to kill

  • January 4, 2016

    Quaker work is often hidden from the public gaze. As the year draws to a close, Quakers in Britain have "lifted the curtain" for a look at some 2015 initiaives which have quietly made a difference to areas of conflict, or sowed seeds of change in local communities.

  • March 17, 2015

    Last year saw a flood of new books on World War 1. When I saw a new one in a bookshop or library, I would pick it up and look up how much space it gave to the issue of opposition to the war.

  • December 11, 2014

    I recently preached at Kensington Unitarian Church, where I was pleased to receive a warm welcome and to engage in some good discussions. Here is the text of my sermon. I explored issues of faith, power and loyalty, looking particularly at Jesus' comments when asked if Jews should pay taxes to the Roman Emperor. I suggested this passage should be read not as a surrender to power but as a challenge to it.

  • May 16, 2014

    Yesterday saw the formal launch of the White Feather Diaries, a social media project exploring the lives of British pacifists during the first world war. The project's run by Quakers in Britain, who hired me as a writer and an editor for the project. I'm really pleased to be working on this project. Yesterday we announced the names of the five individuals whose writings will form the basis of the project, when it goes online in the summer.