Low carbon future for Quakers
The news release below was issued on 5 August last year, and in December 2011 the main policy committee of Quakers in Britain (called Meeting for Sufferings for historical reasons), started the long haul - of turning the commitment below into practical reality.....
Quakers in Britain have today committed their whole movement to becoming a low-carbon, sustainable community. They have always tried to lead simple lives but this decision goes further. It means every Quaker in Britain will be urged and supported to reduce their carbon footprint.
A plan is being drawn up to turn this commitment into action and members have agreed to support each other and hold each other to account to achieve it.
“We can no longer ignore the fact that our planet is finite,” say Quakers. “We have not only inherited the earth from our ancestors: we have borrowed it from our children and from their children.”
More than 1,500 Quakers made the decision while gathered at the University of Kent in Canterbury for their annual Yearly Meeting to discern the way ahead for Quakers in Britain. The eight-day programme for all ages, from 30 July to 6 August, was an inspiring mix of worship, business, spiritual growth and fun.
The decision is rooted in Quakers’ longstanding work for a peaceful and more equal world. Quakers understand that many global problems are connected: speakers during the week highlighted the fact that the environmental crisis is inextricably linked with global economic injustice. The meeting also decided to challenge the values of consumer capitalism and engage with politicians and other decision makers to develop policies to safeguard people and planet. “We believe this corporate action will enable us to speak truth to power more confidently,” says the minute recording the decision.
The same theme of sustainability and spirituality in challenging times was explored by Pam Lunn, of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, in the Swarthmore Lecture, traditionally delivered during Quakers’ Yearly Meeting. She said: “We need to take with utter seriousness the place of theology, religion and spirituality as necessary to our human response to the challenges now facing us. People of all faiths have a crucial role to play.” She spoke about Quakers’ practice of spirituality and about the “absolute need for serious and sustained spiritual discipline if we’re to develop the inner resilience to meet the challenges and demands that face us.”
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