Sustainable Security

Update - March 2015

Dear Friends,

h2. NFPB news update

This is a short news update from Northern Friends Peace Board. We hope to send more regular mailings in the future.

h3. Email address for further mailings?

We would like to send most of these updates by email when appropriate. We know that it is not always straightforward to keep mailing lists up to date. If you are happy to receive these updates by email it would help us if you could send a short email (subject – mailing list) – to [email protected] – stating your Meeting and the email address you would like us to use. Thank you.

h3. General Election

We have produced a short leaflet, reiterating some of our concerns about building security and peace through addressing the roots of conflict. A copy, which also includes possible questions for candidates can be downloaded from . We are also part of the a Network of Christian Peace Organisations, and have contributed to a briefing on some key peace concerns in relation to the election. Copies of this can be downloaded from our website and are available in print from our office on request.

h3. Ukraine

We have written two letters to our Government, this year and last, urging efforts to promote diplomatic and non-military approaches to the conflict in Ukraine. We also joined with other groups in sending a similar letter, as well as letters to the governments of France and Germany in support of their endeavours to build peace between conflict parties.

h3. Military Spending

The Global Day of Action on Military spending (GDAMS) is in its 5th year and this year is on 13th April. Promoted by international peace networks, it is being developed in different ways around the world. We are part of a UK working group pooling ideas and information to support action on this. See enclosed leaflet and also go to for further information.

h3. Meetings for worship at bases

We are three months into 2015 but there are still plenty of opportunities to join with other Friends in Meetings for worship at bases in North Yorkshire and at Faslane. Details of dates and locations of these and many other opportunities are given on our website calendar at

h3. Kites not drones

On 21st March there is an opportunity to raise awareness of and protest in a fun way about the use of military drones.

h3. NFPB meetings and Regional events

NFPB meets four times a year and the first of these took place in Leeds at the end of February. Future meetings will be in Perth, Glasgow and Lancaster. We are also looking to arrange a number of smaller regional events for NFPB members and other Friends and attenders, to meet up, discuss current peace concerns, share conversation, food and worship and build links.
If you would be interested in hosting one of these less formal regional events at your Meeting House, please get in touch.

h3. Keeping in touch

As well as these mailings, we try to keep our website calendar up-to-date and share ideas and information using our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please do let us know of activities, concerns or events, either directly at the NFPB office or through Area Meeting representatives. We look forward to keeping in touch.

In Friendship,

Philip Austin

Election briefing from Christian peace organisations

In a briefing produced on behalf of the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (of which NFPB is a member) the introduction reads, in part:

'Promoting a just, equitable & sustainable peace at a time of political change - a pre-election gathering for Quakers'

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Organised by Northern Friends Peace Board.
10.30-3.30 at Manchester Meeting House (Mount St)
The day will be an opportunity for Friends to share their visions and hopes for positive change and to look at how the general election can be a strategic focus for that.
We will spend time in discussion, facilitated activities, conversation and worship.
Come for all or part of the day
Bring and share lunch
For more information: Philip Austin,
01204 382330
[email protected]

Seeds of peace, witnessing against weapons

NFPB member Jette Howard in conversation with Mashuda Shaikh

We met on Saturday (28th Feb) at Carlton Hill meeting house in Leeds, this being the first of our members’ meetings of the year. In our worship, we remembered Geoffrey Carnall and Christine Davis who had died recently. Representatives came from North Scotland, Nottingham and all areas between. Other Friends from Leeds and the surrounding area also joined us.

Security for the common good: building the conditions of peace


We are in this world together but the way we are living is not sustainable; it is unfair, unjust and environmentally destructive. Economic inequality, our use of the finite resources that feed our consumption, and our production of waste continues to grow. Our dependence upon fossil fuels that are driving dangerous climate change doesn’t diminish. Our world, as a result, is insecure.
Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few at the expense of people and planet, and the resulting inequalities fuel conflict.
The interests of those whose power comes from the control of diminishing resources are protected by ever-more costly military and other technology as a mistaken means to building security.
We are called to question the short-termist, market-led approaches that drive resource misuse, inequality, instability and conflict.
We believe that there is a moral imperative to change from a society driven by perceived wants and fears, and by financial profit, to one that recognises that all people have the same rights to security and that we must live in harmony with nature.

h3. An alternative way forward

To build peace our government must address the causes of war as well as promoting non-military responses to conflict.
We envisage and advocate a secure future that will benefit everyone on our planet. This should be based on understanding the real threats, how they can be dealt with, and tackling the causes of conflict and insecurity.

h3. We call on our government to recognise the changes that are needed and to work to create sustainable security for all …
  • By promoting positive and effective action, nationally and internationally, to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions needed to halt climate change.
  • By promoting greater equality in this country and internationally, recognising that* inequality and marginalisation* is damaging to society and to our relationship with others on this planet.
  • By committing to remove all nuclear weapons from this country and work to promote global nuclear disarmament.
  • By reducing the manufacture and export of armaments and instead take action to promote and invest in the use of those skills to produce socially and environmentally useful products.
  • By withdrawing from the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an agreement that would put more power into the hands of major corporations and undermine parliamentary democracy.

    This leaflet has been produced by Northern Friends Peace Board, a Quaker committee that works to support ‘the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth’. We cover the issues addressed here on our website and our Facebook and Twitter feed – see below for information.

File attachments: 
PDF icon common_good_leaflet_sept_2015.pdf91.17 KB

Introduction to Common Cause: Open Workshop, York

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The workshop will provide a hands-on approach to exploring the importance of the values that underpin concern about many social and environmental issues.
York, 9am-4:30pm

Quaker Equality Week

Saturday, March 7, 2015 to Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quaker Equality Week is a 9-day “week” running from Saturday 7th to Sunday 15th March 2015. Quakers all over the country will display posters and have vigils and other activities to publicise our testimony to equality, with the theme of economic inequality in the UK.

Northern Friends Peace Board members' meeting

Saturday, November 28, 2015

in Lancaster. 10.45 – 16.15, (arrivals from 10.00am)
Contact us on [email protected] , for further details

Hexham Debates: Saturday 20th June ‘Ecocide, the Missing 5th Crime Against Peace’

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Polly Higgins, Barrister, and Lawyer for the Earth – 11am-12.30pm at:

St Mary’s Centre
St Mary’s RC Church
NE46 2EB

Speaking Up and Speaking Out

Friday, November 20, 2015 to Sunday, November 22, 2015 – final part of a series of 3 linked weekends responding to and developing ideas within the 2015 Swarthmore Lecture given by Diana Francis, on ‘Faith, Peace and Power’ We will explore how we can best express to others our testimony to peace and commitment to the abolition of war. At


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