Young people, remembrance
Quakers in Britain. News Release 30 October 2018
The centenary of the armistice that ended World War I is a poignant moment. As the world pauses, a national project, INSPIRE, will engage thousands of children in remembrance and in peace building.
From Finsbury Park Mosque to Coventry Cathedral, from Belfast to Bradford, ‘Remembrance for Peace’ events will take place simultaneously across the UK on Friday 9 November. There are events around the country in Church of England and Roman Catholic Cathedrals, Methodist Central Halls, Mosques, Peace Centres etc. In addition, hundreds of schools are holding Remembrance for Peace assemblies and exploring peace in the classroom. .
Quakers in Britain are one of the INSPIRE organising partners and will host a flagship event at Friends House in London. One thousand primary school children will hear stories of peacemaking from around the world, share how they build peace in their playground and classrooms, and consider what it means to stand up for peace. What did it mean 100 years ago? What does it involve today?
“For Quakers, INSPIRE is not just about the day of remembrance – it is about a peaceful future. Although referred to as the War to End All Wars, WWI was anything but. Britain has been consistently involved in war and armed conflict since 1914. Today the British government is spending millions to promote a ‘military ethos’ in our schools. Quakers believe we need to teach peace. “During INSPIRE events, children will be asking what it would take to truly be able say, ’Never Again’. “We remember and grieve for the losses – soldier and civilian – from a century of war, but hope for peace inspired by a new generation of peace builders,” said Isabel Cartwright.
Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis Charitable Trust, said, “We are always diminished by our exclusion of those who are different to us. We are never enriched by it. To work to build bridges is the only way to overcome our prejudices and hidden fears; exclusion and violence are impotent in this task. For many years, Quakers have been at the forefront of exploring positive nonviolent approaches to conflict resolution and peacemaking, whether at a personal, local, national or global level. Their insight and input has contributed so much to the development of INSPIRE.”
The INSPIRE project is a partnership between Quakers in Britain, Oasis Foundation, Wales for Peace, Coventry Cathedral and Corrymeela aimed at building a movement for peace inspired by remembrance.