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World Quaker Day - Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

On Sunday 4th October Quakers in Aotearoa will celebrate World Quaker Day, an annual event when Quakers worldwide commemorate the founding of the movement and share and discuss their activities over the year.

For many people, the term Quaker conjures up a benign looking gentleman in Puritan style attire promoting Quaker Oats, while for others the name is sometimes confused with the American based group, the Amish, who dress plainly and live in a manner reminiscent of the pre-industrialised world. In contrast, Quakers in Aotearoa are generally liberal in their views and are active participants in the wider community.

The Quaker Movement was founded in the mid seventeenth century in England. A central belief was that every individual has positive potential and in daily life we need to approach people in ways that appeal to that potential thus building constructive relationships and strong communities. Arising from that belief, are core Quaker principles of, “Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Sustainability”, and much Quaker activity today is related to applying those principles to the urgent issues facing the world.

Quakers are therefore actively concerned with issues such as social justice, peace, equality, penal reform, environmental regeneration and population control.

One such issue currently is the global COVID pandemic and Quakers have prepared a ‘Call to Action’ which identifies opportunities for collective action in a post COVID world. https://quakers.nz/forums/climate-emergency/climate-emergency.

Quakers believe COVID-19 has given Aotearoa an opportunity to reassess its situation and sense of purpose and has provided an impetus to find a new way forward based firmly on humane values.

Like many indigenous societies, including the tangata whenua of Aotearoa, Quakers have a strong sense of the sanctity of creation.  This commits us to the development of systems that would enable us to live simpler lives within sustainable boundaries in order to prevent climate catastrophe and preserve biodiversity.

For further information please contact Jim Flewitt 027 293 9414, flewitts@xtra.co.nz