Nuclear weapons ceremony criticised
The decision to hold a service at Westminster Abbey to mark fifty years of constant patrol by the UK's nuclear submarines is being deeply criticised by Quakers in Britain.
“Quakers regard nuclear weapons as faithless. To threaten humanity and the planet with nuclear annihilation is in our view contrary to what God would have us do," writes Paul Parker, the Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain, in a private letter to the Very Revd John Hall, Dean of Westminster Abbey.
“It is indeed imperative that we all continue to pray and work for peace throughout the world, but peace is not served by the maintenance, possession and threat of use of nuclear weapons."
To threaten humanity and the planet with nuclear annihilation is in our view contrary to what God would have us do.- Paul Parker, Recording Clerk
“We note," he continued, “Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the United Nations this week that, 'the possible use of nuclear weapons is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security'." As a faith community Quakers have been urging the UK government to sign up to the Nuclear Ban Treaty.
“A Service to Recognise Fifty Years Of Continuous At Sea Deterrent" is set for noon on Friday 3 May. It is said to mark the commitment of the Royal Navy to effective peacekeeping. Even so, many see it at odds with last year's Church of England General Synod motion calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.