Last day at Conference!

by Outreach ~ October 1st, 2015. Filed under: News.

We began our third and final day at a prayer breakfast focused on victims of religious persecution. Jessica Metheringham, parliamentary and political engagement officer for Quakers in Britain, spoke at the breakfast. She discussed the transition from ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ to ‘Faith in Action’, and how we need to address the instances where neighbour ceases to be a collective term for humanity, and becomes an exclusive category separating ‘them’ from ‘us’.

A real highlight of the day was having the opportunity to discuss our campaign and bill with delegates from several faiths including The Methodist Church, The Salvation Army and The United Reformed Church. We discussed issues regarding peace and security, including how our current emphasis on security by threat of force and nuclear deterrence serves to invest in a continued culture of fear and death. We stressed the need for more emphasis on communication, understanding and experience of other cultures. Furthermore, we talked about conscientious objectors in World War One, which lead me on to explaining about the people that Conscience campaign on behalf of – conscientious objectors to military taxation. We had a lengthy conversation about the struggles that religious conscientious objectors face as part of a political society that forces them to act against their faith. We finished by exchanging details and arranging future correspondence about involvement in the Peace Tax campaign.

The rest of the day consisted of more leafleting and raising awareness of our campaign amongst Labour members. We also attended a workshop on running an effective campaign and making yourself heard in Westminster.

The day was set apart by Jeremy Corbyn’s first Leader’s Speech (which was actually his 38th speech of the conference!). I need not go into detail here, as I’m sure it has been widely watched and read about. All I can say to conclude is that Jeremy’s speech was exemplary of the atmosphere present throughout the conference, one of excitement and belief in real change.

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