Some British Perspectives on Quakers In Transition

What Do Quakers and Transition Have In Common?

Here is a link to a report back from Gail Parfitt, a Quaker involved in Transition Exeter, who attended the Quakers and Transition event held this summer at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England. From Friday, June 24th to the 26th around forty Quakers met at Woodbrooke and “had a lively time looking at the links and potential synergies between Quakers and the Transition movement.”

The facilitator team, who started planning this event a year ago, consisted of: Catrina Pickering from Transition Network; Sunniva Taylor from Quaker Peace and Social Witness; Jasmine Piercy from Living Witness and Quaker Voluntary Action; Gordon Matthews from Evesham Quaker Meeting and Transition Evesham Vale; and Pam Lunn from Woodbrooke.

Participants came from all over Britain, with one visitor from the USA also joining us. About half the group came representing their local or area Quaker Meeting, and about half came on their own account. Many had been involved in environmental issues long before Transition appeared on the scene, and were bringing their previous experience and knowledge to the movement. We were reminded that transition involved a journey from oil dependency to local resilience and a post-carbon economy and society. One Friend asked, “Should transition (also) mean a move to a more socially just /egalitarian society/world.” Another added “a journey we are all part of!” Certainly the writer of ‘the Transition Handbook’ Rob Hopkins, talks of the importance of reciprocity and the need to address the heart as well as the head within an increased local democracy. This was an undercurrent running through the weekend workshop.

To read the full blog article, click here.

For an example of a local meeting cooperating with a local Transition initiative, here is a link to blog post by Andrew Reeve announcing that “Leicester Quakers and Transition Leicester are presenting their 3rd annual Apple Day event on Saturday 29th October from 10am to 4pm at the Friends Meeting House, Queens Road, Leicester.” For the full post, click here. Also, the local Transition Tunbridge Wells holds most of its community events at the Tunbridge Wells Friends Meeting House. Check out the list of events here.

Finally, I just found this longer “think piece” on the topic of Quakers In Transition from 2009. While I certainly don’t agree with everyone of the author’s points, it is an interesting discussion starter about how the end of the age of cheap and abundant energy will impact Quakers and what we might want to start doing about strengthening our meeting communities and our wider local communities. As noted by the blogspot author, listed only as Craig:

This was a submission to ‘The Friends Quarterly’ essay competition on ‘The Future of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain’. It is an attempt to explore some of the consequences of peak oil and climate change for British Quakerism. References and further reading are in hypertext links within the text. I am a Quaker from Sheffield, and I am also active in the Transition movement.

For the complete essay, click here. Please feel free to comment on the piece below.

What do other people know about Quakers in Transition in Britain, the US, and elsewhere? Let’s starting linking up and talking to each other!


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