WW1 centenary - events and activities

We will be listing a selection of activities being undertaken by Quakers and others in relation to the first world war, with a particular focus on peace witness then and now.
Events will also be included in our main calendar page


Tuesday 16 to Saturday 27 February – War & Conscience: Choices Then and Now 1916-2016 – Exhibition by East Cheshire Quakers, coinciding with the centenary of conscription – http://www.macclesfieldreflects.org.uk/2015/02/15/feb-2016-war-and-consc...

Friday 26 February – Out of the Silence – performance telling the story of Conscientious Objectors in WW1 Macclesfield Library. Jordangate SK10 1EE at 7.30 p.m.- Eventbrite

File attachments: 
PDF icon nogloryinwar.pdf177.44 KB

WW1 centenary - resources

We will be including on this page links to resources relating to the first world war, particularly from the perspective of Quaker peace concerns and witness

  • There is Another Way. This NFPB leaflet, published in 2014, reflects on current peace concerns whilst making links to the period around the outbreak of war in 1914. This can be printed from the PDF file here, or contact us for paper copies, with a donation towards costs and postage (about £1.00 per 20 leaflets). This is intended for Quakers to use at a range of events during 2014.

  • NFPB Posters
    We’ve printed four, including three from the period after the first world war and one new one
    NFPB posters

  • Tribunal
    NFPB has access to a nearly complete set of issue of The Tribunal, the journal published by the No Conscription Fellowship between March 1916 and November 1918. We will be publishing occasional extracts from these between March 2016 and November 1918
  • Conscience and Conviction – WWI school resources
    Conscience and conviction image
    QPSW has produced two new resources for peace education: Conscience (primary school-focused) and Conviction (secondary school-focused). Available to download – print copies available shortly.

  • Witnessing for peace on the centenary of World War I: a resource pack for Quaker Meetings
    Produced by Quakers in Britain. The centenary of World War I offers Quakers the opportunity to take part in the national conversation and counter any potential glorification of war. The alternative stories we have to tell throw fresh light on the period. We hope Quaker meetings will find this pack helpful for planning outreach activities, engaging in peace education, group learning and reflection on current violent conflicts.
    To order a free hard copy, please email the Quaker Centre or telephone 020 7663 1030, giving your name, postal address and name of your Quaker Meeting.
  • World War One Christmas Truce Commemorations
    Christmas Truce image
    The Martin Luther King Peace Committee (Newcastle) has prepared separate packs of resources for school teachers and church ministers to mark one of the most remarkable events in the annals of modern warfare: the December 1914 Christmas Truces. Following weeks of fraternization, men right down the Western front from the North Sea to Switzerland laid down their arms to mark Christmas. The Peace Committee has created two different resource packs to help mark the 1914 Christmas truces in the run up to Christmases from 2014 until 2017.

  • The White Feather Diaries white feather image
    website launched on 4 August 2014. You can follow The White Feather Diaries project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wfdiaries and Twitter @wfdiaries.

  • NFPB Centenary Resource Pack We produced a pack of materials for our centenary in 2013. Many of these relate to the first world war period, including the text of a leaflet published on 6th August 1914 . They are available to download or on request in printed form from the NFPB office. We have added here a shortened version of the specially written play, ‘A Burning, living faith’ which features the period of the first world war, in which the two main characters make different choices during wartime.

  • Choices – then and now. A different sort of WW1 resources for schools and colleges .
    choices logo
    Produced by The Peace Museum in Bradford, a cross-curricular approach to teaching about World War I and recent and current conflicts, considering the choices available to and made by people in response to key events and ‘days that changed the world’

  • The World is My Country
    A visual celebration of the people and movements that opposed the First World War

  • Out of the Silence The Story of the Conscientious Objectors – Of the millions conscripted in 1916, sixteen thousand claimed the new right to conscientious objection…. Drawing on first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs, Out of the Silence is a show by Sheffield story-teller Simon Heywood, which brings the voices of the conscientious objectors out of the silence, with original songs from Shonaleigh. Commissioned by the 2014 Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival. To download a touring pack, click here .

  • Opposing World War One: Courage and Conscience (external link to PDF document)
    An information briefing about conscientious objection and peace activism in the First World War Published 2013 by Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, Peace Pledge Union, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

  • Conscientious Objection 1914-1918 – educational and informative material produced by the Peace Pledge Union
  • World War I centenary event map British Quakers online tool for gathering and mapping information about Quaker activities in relation to the first world war
  • National Archives – a brief guide to researching records of British conscientious objectors and those exempt from service.
  • Information about Corder Catchpool , early member of Friends Ambulance Unit then absolutist objector during the war.
  • Housmans Bookshop (radical London bookshop) – recommended WW1-related reading
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WW1 centenary - speaking out

This page will provide information about current opportunities to speak out and take action on peace concerns, in relation to the commemoration of the first world war.


  • There is Another Way This leaflet, published in 2014, reflects on current peace concerns whilst making links to the period around the outbreak of war in 1914. This can be printed from the PDF file here , or contact us for paper copies, with a donation towards costs and postage (about £1.00 per 20 leaflets). This is intended for Quakers to use at a range of events during 2014

WW1 centenary

In this section of our website we are providing information and links to resources that were produced by Quakers and others concerned to learn, share resources, take action and speak out for peace during the centenary of the first world war.

We are no longer (as of 2019) doing any work on this, but are keeping this page here for interest and information.


For information about the centenary of Northern Friends Peace Board

Trent to Trenches: Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 to Monday, July 7, 2014

Lace Market Theatre, Halifax Place, Nottingham , NG1 1QA. Commemorating the outbreak of the Great War, 100 years ago this month, this moving play from the acclaimed writer of War Horse portrays the undying bond between brothers and the brutality of WWI. 19:30 (Tue-Sat) plus a 14:30 matinee (Sat).

Quaker Aspects of World War I

Friday, August 22, 2014 to Monday, August 25, 2014

Course at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre – http://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/pages/courses.html

Our work

Overall aims

NFPB was set up to ‘advise and encourage Friends in the North, and through them their fellow citizens, in the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth’. Our members meet during the year in full members’ meetings and we undertake projects and specific activities in relation to a number of the concerns raised and considered at these meetings.

Social media

Information on the range of concerns of our members is shared via our Facebook page and via Twitter

Resources and materials

Our archives are a rich source of visual and written materials. Working through these has inspired us and helped us to get a better understanding of the pattern, scope, inspiration and people behind the peace activities of Northern Friends Peace Board since 1913. We are producing a range of publications and resources that both celebrate this work and, we hope, provide ideas, inspiration and challenge for future work. The following is a list of the materials, some of which will be available to download in due course and others to purchase. A good number of them will be in a pack for Local Quaker Meetings and others

  • Display – ten panels in a variety of sizes illustrating the history of NFPB
  • Historical essays – written by a member of our project group, drawing on information in our archives – see http://nfpb.org.uk/centenarypack (see also the text of a talk given at the Peace History Conference in Manchester, September 2013)
  • Tea-towel – produced on organic fair-trade cotton and based on an earlier poster design
  • Candle – hand-made in Yorkshire, with our logo
  • A play – “A Burning, Living Faith”, written by NFPB member Jo Alberti and reflecting on some of the key strands of peace concern over the period of NFPB’s history
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In more detail

(revised 2017)
Download this as a PDF

Northern Friends Peace Board (NFPB) is a body set up by Quakers in the North of Britain. Our members are representatives of all Area Meetings in the North (from Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire to the North of Scotland), along with Friends co-opted to serve for specific purposes.
Our members number around 60 people in total and we employ a full-time Coordinator and a part-time Administrative Assistant. Our office is currently based in Bolton.
Since 2017 we have been a Quaker Recognised Body.
Funding comes chiefly from Northern Area Meetings and Local Meetings, with additional support from grant-making trusts, legacies, sales of resources and donations from individuals.

A bit of history

Initially a concern just of some of the Northern English Quarterly Meetings (we were set up in 1913 ), our supporting membership soon expanded to include Friends in Scotland, in North Wales and in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, who have continued to support us since. The Quarterly Meetings were replaced by General Meetings in 1967 and at this point the responsibility for providing Representatives to, and funding for, our work was passed onto the Monthly Meetings in the area covered. In 2007/8 these became Area Meetings.
The conference that set us up minuted that the Board was to….
‘advise and encourage Friends in the North, and through them their fellow Christians and citizens generally, in the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.’

The work of the Board has inevitably varied over this time, but common threads throughout are:

  • Provision of information, comment and thinking on topical peace concerns, including work on exploring the conditions necessary for building peace in the world.
  • Publicising peace-building as an alternative to prevailing military-orientated thinking.
  • Supporting individuals and organisations in responding to current challenges — including those people facing compulsory military service, both during times of war and afterwards.
  • Making Quaker peace concerns visible and bringing Quakers together to reflect and to develop insights and thinking.
  • Building bridges between individuals and groups.
  • Being a forum for the sharing of local experiences and information peace action and peace promotion.

What we do

The following is a short list of the type of activities undertaken by NFPB over recent years:

  • Organising conferences, workshops and other events, for Friends and others.
  • Producing written publications, from printed to web-based materials.
  • Publicising opportunities for engagement and action on peace concerns, through our membership, through our links with Quaker meetings and through our web-resources
  • Organising and participating in acts of witness.

Since the mid-1980s NFPB has committed itself to:

  • serving as a resource for supporting Friends in Meetings
  • acting as a catalyst for action and thinking on peace, from the international to the personal levels
  • developing ways of working that reflect our Quaker foundation and commitment to peaceful means and ends.

In 1985 NFPB minuted that “we need to be both realistic and visionary”, reflecting on the gifts that individual Friends can each give to the endeavour and to the corporate discipline and clarity that need to be nurtured and developed.

Framework for Action

This grid – agreed by NFPB in November 2013 – maps out the broad themes of our work and, in very general terms, the type of activity we do and might undertake. Any work we do should fit into at least one part of this grid.


Our Current concerns

Some of our work is responsive, acting and reflecting on particular current concerns of our members, whilst at other times we develop work over a more sustained period.

Specific areas of activity as of Spring 2018:

  • Promoting peace building and peace action in our communities – developing and offering workshops for Quakers and others that support reflection and action, recognising that peace is rooted in justice, respect and communication.
  • Nuclear disarmament and arms conversion – witnessing and advocating moves towards nuclear disarmament, both at the local, national and international levels, as opportunities arise, and raising awareness of how people can contribute to this.

If you would like to receive updates and reports by email, please contact us

Networking and communications

We aim to develop and maintain appropriate and effective communication – to and with Friends and beyond – and to build relationships and partnerships with other organisations, networks and key individuals. Through our membership being rooted in different parts of the UK, we have explored the differing perspectives, experiences and opportunities in England, in Wales and in Scotland.
We maintain working links with a number of other bodies, Quaker and non-Quaker. For example, we are members of the Network for Peace, the International Peace Bureau, Scotland’s for Peace and the Network of Christian Peace Organisations. Particularly important is our relations with Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW), where we have cross-representation on its Peace and Disarmament and Peace Education programmes. We also attend Britain Yearly Meeting (at which we offer talks or interest groups when appropriate) and the annual Peace and Service Consultations of the Europe and Middle East Section (EMES)of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). Other relationships with individuals and organisations arise through our work.
We have a regularly updated and well-used website, linked with other web-based resources. We produce periodic mailings each year, to Northern Quaker Meetings, to individual Quakers and interested organisations and people. We also try to ensure a visible presence at meetings of Britain Yearly Meeting and other Quaker events when appropriate.

If you would like to receive updates and reports by email, please contact us

Our structure

Our meetings
The meetings of the Board and Executive are held in the manner of Friends, with quiet worship being the context in which discussion takes place and decisions are made. Decisions are minuted at the time, with some additional notes appended to minutes on occasion where a detailed minute is not needed. The Board and the Executive each have Clerks to facilitate this process. Sometimes one person has Clerked both bodies, but more recently the roles have been divided. Our Treasurer is another key member of the Executive, with responsibilities for financial oversight, in consultation with other Executive members and the Co-ordinator. There are normally three or four meetings a year for Representatives, taking place at different parts of the North, usually held at Quaker Meeting Houses. Through inviting speakers and linking up with local Friends’ concerns and activities, our meetings also serve to strengthen Quaker and non-Quaker peace networks.

The role of Representatives
Representatives are appointed by Area Meetings and key parts of their role include:

  • Being a two-way channel of communication between Area Meetings and NFPB
  • Being aware of Friends’ peace concerns and guiding the direction of NFPB’s work.
  • Contributing to the work of the Board by serving in a range of capacities, on various sub-groups and committees in partnership with the Co-ordinator to implement our work.

Charitable status and trustees
We became an independent charity in 1996, registered in Scotland as Charity Number SC 024632. We report annually to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) (the equivalent of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and with similar reporting and accounting requirements). There is not currently a requirement that we also register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales but do try to work within its requirements as well as those of OSCR.
Our Executive Committee serve as our Trustees, who in their turn meet four times a year. Six Friends currently serve on our Executive Committee, these being appointed for up to two terms of three years. Financial administrative tasks are currently undertaken by staff in our office.

Sub groups
In addition to the Board and Executive, we appoint sub-groups to undertake particular tasks. These range from our Nominations Committee to project groups. These report regularly to both the Board and Executive.

The Board’s current Co-ordinator and its Administrative Assistant work from an office in Bolton, Lancashire, in a town-centre Methodist building.


Sources of funding

The core of our funding comes from Quakers in the North of Britain. Most of this is contributed by Area Meetings, although some Area Meetings have devolved the responsibility for financial contributions to NFPB to their Local Meetings.
Friends also provide funds through collections and through individual donations. A smaller amount of funding comes from grant-making charitable trusts that donate on an annual basis, and a smaller amount still comes from sales of our publications and from fees for events.
We do apply for and have, over the years, secured additional funding from charitable Trusts for specific areas of project work. This has given us scope for developing our resources and activities that would not otherwise be practicable.
Over the past five years we have received generous legacies from a small number of Friends. We regularly review our reserves and how best to use these to take our work forward.

Budgeting and planning

Our Trustees agree a budget each autumn, our Financial Year running from January to December. On the basis of this budget, we propose a suggested amount per member that Area Meetings might use as a guideline for their financial contributions to NFPB. Whilst some Meetings are not able to use this figure, due to insufficient funds locally, in general terms it has proved to be a very effective way for us to plan our financial affairs, with the support, generosity and cooperation of Area Meetings.

Contact details:
Philip Austin, Co-ordinator, Victoria Hall, Knowsley Street, Bolton BL1 2AS
Email: [email protected] Web: http://nfpb.org.uk
01204 382330 Charity number: SC 024632

File attachments: 
PDF icon about_nfpb_march_2018.pdf275.82 KB


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