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Exhibition: With a Tender Hand

Exhibition: With a Tender Hand

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12-5pm Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2018. Light refreshments will be available.

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster-click on image for pdf

Commemorations to those combatants killed will be a central feature of many events this coming November, as the centenary of the end of WWI is marked.

Sadly, the huge cost in both loss of lives and the suffering of civilians caught up in armed conflicts around the world - referred to today as 'collateral damage' - is often forgotten, as are the efforts made by civilian activist seeking to alleviate this suffering.

Quakers are well known as a 'peace church' and, along with organisations of many faiths and none, take a moral stand against participation in armed conflict - a path which, even today, can in some countries result in imprisonment and sometimes death.

The title of our exhibition, 'With a Tender Hand', is taken from writings of a 17th Century English Quaker, Isaac Penington, who 1667 wrote:

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand

Our exhibition has three parts:

(a) A display looking at the service which Quaker groups have given over the past century or so to help those, both military and civilian, caught up in armed conflict

(b) A display looking at the conflicts which the UK has been involved in since 1914, and the related peace initiatives over the same period, including those by local Quakers.

(c) "Make a white poppy". The white poppy was and is a symbol of grief for all people of all nationalities, armed forces and civilians alike, who are victims of war. Starting from an initiative in 1933 by the Womens Cooperative Guild, the wearing of a white poppy on Armistice Day became a focus for the peace movement, and the Peace Pledge Union took it up in 1936 as 'a definite pledge to peace that war must not happen again'.

White poppies

fabric poppies

We will have on display an installation of fabric white poppies created by Mid-Essex Quakers which, in November 2018, will become part of a national "Collateral Damage" project to remember all victims of wars during and since WW1.

There will be materials available for you to make your own paper or fabric white poppy, and you can donate your fabric poppy to the installation if you wish.

Quaker worship is based on reflective contemplation in silence, with the Quaker congregation sitting in a circle which represents our commitment to equality. A circle of seats will be present in the exhibition hall, and we hope that visitors will take advantage of these to rest and contemplate the messages of the exhibition.

In Peace and Friendship, Mid-Essex Quakers