Quaker LogoNorthfield Ecocentre is a project owned by The Central England Area Quaker Meeting.

“Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?”

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Sustainability is an urgent matter for Quaker witness. It is rooted in Quaker testimony and must be integral to all we do corporately and individually. Quakers have particular gifts to offer the world in living our values, in our approach to community and in our way of working, which encourages everyone’s voice to be heard.

We are called to be patterns and examples, taking responsibility for our individual and corporate environmental impacts, and engaging in local, national and international politics. We need to develop connectedness in our witness, sharing experiences, gifts and burdens between Quakers locally and centrally, and with non-Quakers.

We ask all meetings and all members and attenders to work together, led by projects such as Living Witness, to live simpler lives that help to conserve our environment and enable all forms of life to flourish.

Strengthening local communities

From the strength of our worshipping groups Quakers should be able to move confidently into working for cohesion in their local communities. We live in a society under pressure, in which certain groups are marginalised, others fearful, the cohesion of communities disturbed by rapid change. Quakers have been active throughout our history in caring for those who are disadvantaged or dislodged from their family roots. We expect all this work to continue.

One of the major challenges of this time is the impact of global migration. The pressures on people to move to Britain, legally or not, are not likely to ease. We wish to see Quakers embracing this diversity as a gift not a problem. We wish to support the receiving communities, often themselves under strain, and to encourage local Quakers to welcome and nurture those who arrive here, to meet that of God in them and to enable them to live fulfilling lives. This includes all who arrive facing uncertainty, isolation, separation from family, loss of familiar ways of living and perhaps poverty. They may be asylum seekers and subsequently refugees, workers, slaves or undocumented immigrants. We would like to see central and local work devoted to advocating on their behalf, working with other bodies.

Quakers are well placed to play a particular role in fostering interfaith understanding and closer relations between the faith communities, culturally and in friendship. This is mainly local work, but there are benefits from sharing experience.

“We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.”

Quaker Advices and Queries 42