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Engaging with politics

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Outside Number 10 Downing StreetWhat is the work about?

Engaging with politics is about expressing Quaker values and experience in dialogue with parliament and government. It involves working with ecumenical and non-governmental organisations where there is a common purpose, for example, in relation to sustainability and climate change. It connects with work done by Quakers in their meetings lobbying their MP and pushing for attention to be paid to an issue they think is important.

Why does it matter?

Many of the issues that are of concern to Quakers require a coherent and confident voice that can only be articulated at a national level. It is vital to keep a spiritual response to these issues alive both to nurture our spiritual responses to these issues and to support them with careful analysis and detailed research.

Who benefits from the work?

During the last Labour government Quakers campaigned actively on several issues resulting in political change. Lobbying at a parliamentary and political level was crucial in persuading the Government to adopt the optional protocol to the Rights of the Child in relation to armed conflict and to bring about an amendment to the Equality Act providing for an end to the prohibition on the celebration of Civil Partnerships in places of religious worship. On other issues such as the Non Proliferation Treaty while we have not yet seen the changes we would like to see we have made submissions to Select Committees translating Quaker values and testimonies into practical policy positions.

What action can we take?

  • Re-engage politically with all political parties valuing democratic change
  • Invite your constituency MP/MSP/MEP to join you for worship and to discuss current political concerns
  • Use the processes of Quakers to raise issues of concern at a national level

Find out more