“For Conscience Sake”, Sunday 13th November 2016

Plain Quakers

“For Conscience Sake”, by theatre group Plain Quakers.

Following the Remembrance Service, Friends participated in a shared lunch followed by a performance of the play “For Conscience Sake”, by theatre group Plain Quakers.

The play explored the choices faced by conscientious objectors in the First World War, against the backdrop of growing militarisation today.

The audience of almost 30 people (including Friends from other local Meetings and some non-Quakers) were treated to an excellent and thought-provoking performance.

All welcome to a Play to be held at the Woking meeting House, Sunday 13 November, at 2pm

The play commemorates the opposition of Quakers and others to the introduction of conscription in 1916 against the backdrop of growing militarisation today.

For Conscience Sake

When Morris, would-be thespian and unrepentant curmudgeon, tries to unravel the story of his grandfather’s heroic exploits in the Great War, he is faced with an unexpected surprise. His unlikely buddy, Albert, unsuccessful author and Quaker enthusiast, attempts to ease the pain by arguing that we should remember the courageous conscientious objectors who resisted conscription in 1916. If more had done perhaps millions of lives could have been saved. Unconvinced, Morris stubbornly defends what his grandfather did for King and Country, until Albert unearths documents in Huddersfield that reveal a disturbing truth.

THE play is set in the present, but looks back to the past where, in a small mill town south of Huddersfield, two brothers are faced with the call to arms. It draws on real events to explore the tensions and confusions that must have been in the minds of the men who resisted conscription when their family, friends, the Press and the government were all pressuring them to bow to public opinion. The Huddersfield area had many such men, and a large number of them spent the war in prison or government work camps rather than compromise their moral principles.

There is usually no performance fee for Quaker meetings, but we do ask for return travel costs by car. We hope that a ‘retiring collection’ could be used to donate to a charity involved in peace work of the meeting’s choice, Quaker or otherwise.

Plain Quakers theatre projects supports the aims QPSW, the Peace Education Network, the Northern Friends Peace Board, ForcesWatch, and Veterans for Peace.

Enquiries and further information from

Plain Quakers Theatre: 28 Thirstin Road, Honley, Holmfirth, HD9 6JG

01484 664258 / 07849884193



Twitter: @PlainQuakers


Book Review : Gathering our Senses by Maggie Taylor-Sanders

Gathering Our Senses by Maggie Taylor-Sanders

Wild geranium like that in our front garden. Photo: Snezhka

Wild geranium like that in our front garden. Photo: Snezhka

This book is written by a Quaker on my Equipping For Ministry course and was her project for the course. It is self published and self financed with some help from her Area Meeting and is an impressive work. Maggie is a non theist but very spiritual person and this book is written from a committed Quaker perspective.

She considers the world is committed to environmental destruction and presents evidence to support this in the first section of the book. More interesting is her next sections on what a balanced sane world would be like. This very much involves a spiritual approach based on Quaker principles.

Even if you do not accept her premise of how desperate she considers the present situation is it is an interesting and thought provoking book of how we could organise a better world. Unfortunately she has few suggestions of how we can get there.

The book can be found in the Woking Meeting library.

Keith Scott

Book review : What is left of Christianity by Richard Holloway

Doubts and Loves: What is Left of Christianity by Richard Holloway
(book review by Keith Scott)

Published in 2001 and written by the ex Bishop of Edinburgh it reflects a lifetime’s thought on Christianity during which time he has swung from the evangelical to liberal perspectives. The book considers the main theological issues that Christianity has been built upon, God, sin, the Fall, sexuality amongst them and he brings in the work of many theologians and philosophers but it is a deeply personal reflection and he effectively quotes poetry when appropriate. Beautifully written. A profound yet very readable book.

He ends the book with an extract of a poem by Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass:

This is what you should do:

Love the earth and sun and animals,

Despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks,

Stand up for the stupid and crazy,

Devote your income and labour to others, hate tyrants,

Argue not concerning God,

Have patience and indulgence toward the people,

Re-examine all you have been told I school or church or any book,

Dismiss what insults your very soul,

And your flesh shall become a great poem.


Do read it. Available in the Woking Quaker library.

Contact: Keith Scott

Quakers lay wreath for Peace on Remembrance Sunday

Woking Quakers, once again, laid a wreath of red, white and purple poppies,  as part of the civic remembrance service in Jubilee Square, on Sunday 8 November 2015. The words on wreath read : In memory of all the victims of war, including animals. WhitePoppy1024-768We pray for the day when war is abolished as a method of resolving conflict.