THE QUAKER WAY
We have been called "practical mystics" because in the depth of our gathered silence we find the inspiration to act on the world.
SWARTHMORE LECTURE 2020
Openings to the Infinite Ocean: A Friendly Offering of Hope
How do we face all the very real, terrible things that happen in our world and still have hope? How did Friends in the past have hope in dark times and how can we have it today? Tom will reflect on the nature of hope, our reasons to hope, and how we can preach hope through the way we live our lives.
Tom Shakespeare is currently Professor of Disability Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Fellow of the British Academy and is a Quaker.
Copies of the book accompanying the lecture can be bought from the Quaker Bookshop.
Quaker Study Centre
Woodbrooke is many things to many people. Its Quaker-based learning informs and motivates; Its inspiring venue in Birmingham offers space for meeting or just for staying.
Woodbrooke offers opportunities for learning:
Through courses at the Quaker study centre in Birmingham, and at other venues such as Swarthmoor Hall.
Through the On-the-Road programme which brings experienced tutors to meetings.
Via online courses and webinars.
Woodbrooke’s centre in Selly Oak, a Grade II listed Georgian manor house with 60 bedrooms and 9 meeting rooms is a perfect venue for meetings or conferences and as a base to stay for visitors to Birmingham.
Woodbrooke was founded in 1903 and was the vision of George Cadbury and John Wilhelm Rowntree who saw a need amongst Friends for a ‘permanent settlement’ with a mission to ‘foster a vital Friends’ ministry’. Since then Woodbrooke has evolved and grown beyond the walls and boundaries of the place in which the study centre is still based and rooted.
Today, as well as running courses at the Quaker study centre in Birmingham courses are run in Quaker meetings, at other venues and online. The ways Quaker learn has changed but the original vision remains the same. The mission today is still fostering a vital Friends’ ministry. Encouraging and enabling ministry is at the core of the Quaker approach to learning, whether that ministry is faith, witness, love or service.
At Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre holds a meeting for worship six days of the week and epilogue every evening both of which are open to everyone. There is a Quaker silence at mealtimes and there is a constant Quaker presence at Woodbrooke with Friends in Residence who uphold the worship and help provide a ministry of hospitality. Many individuals and organisations find Woodbrooke such a welcoming place regardless of their faith or spiritual outlook.
QUAKER PEACE & SOCIAL WITNESS
Quakers in Action
Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) is the central peace and service department of British Friends, and represents them at national level on issues of peace and social justice. It facilitates dialogue to build greater understanding of these issues, and disseminates outcomes and ideas. QPSW works with Quaker and other partners to put this understanding into action on a variety of projects within Britain and around the world. It gives considerable support to QUNO Geneva. QPSW's is in addition to the varied work done by our Local and Area Meetings. A Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Quakers in 1947.
Areas of Current Work
Criminal justice: support for prison chaplains, and for restorative justice.
Economic justice and inequality reduction: conferences, discussion papers, Earth and Economy journal, campaigning
Environment and sustainability: sustainability toolkit, follow up to ‘Minute 36’ (BYM's 2011 commitment to becoming a low-carbon sustainable community), campaigning
Nonviolence: Turning the Tide, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel.
Peace education: support for contact between local Friends and schools
Peaceworkers: one-year placements in the UK and abroad
Public issues: submissions to government consultation papers and/or briefings for Friends on issues of the day, such as the renewal of nuclear weapons, economic inequality, climate change, young people in the military, asylum seekers and refugees.
Peace-building in East Africa, in partnership with the Quaker Peace Network.
Peace-building in South Asia, in partnership with NGOs in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
QUNO Geneva: funding, governance, and a Geneva summer school for young adults.
Relief grants: grants for higher education.