Faith News (Including war memorial by Hemel Hempstead Quakers)

Hemel Hempstead Quaker Meeting House
Hemel Hempstead Quaker Meeting House

The latest news from faith groups in your area.
Quakers to hold memorial night for conscientious objectors

The Quaker Memorial Trust has organised an exhibition to remember the conscientious objectors from the First World War.

During World War I, conscientious objectors faced persecution and were often humiliated and physically attacked.

In World War II, they became involved in several humanitarian efforts including organising the Friends Ambulance Unit and working on land to provide food.

Living Quaker pacifists who were conscientious objectors during World War II include Peter Yeoman and and Gilbert Rigg, both now in their 90s.

Audrey Pitchforth, co-clerk, defined a conscientious objector as “a man who refuses conscription to the armed forces by his government in time of war – refusal being because of conscience or religion.”

The Quakers believe that while the nation remembers those who fought in the war, the contributions by conscientious objectors, many of whom were Quakers, should also be recognised.

The exhibition comes after a discussion by various different religions at an interfaith meeting about whether there is such a thing as a “just war”, where some representatives opposed Audrey and the Quaker’s views.

Audrey’s response was a quote from the Hemel Hempstead Quaker and former Guardian writer Frank Edmead: “War is bad politics”.

Audrey said: “Quakers know their actions arouse debate but feel equally that the contribution made by COs should be acknowledged. We hope members of the public will join us and witness this contribution for themselves.”

The exhibition, which is free of charge, is at Hemel Hempstead Quaker Meeting House at 1 The Alleys. The memorials began on Monday, September 26 and will continue every day until Thursday, October 2.

Audrey has also written a short book on the lives of seven local Quaker pacifists titled “Faith into Action”. You can find out about the exhibition and the book at the Hemel Quakers’ website, www.hemelquakers.org.uk.

For more information on the Dacorum Interfaith Network, which meets monthy at the Hemel Hempstead Civic Centre, call Heather on 01442 228782.

Craft day in preparation for Christmas

The All Saints of Berkhamsted held a day of crafts on Sunday, September 28 following regular morning worship at 10:00am.

A working party was held at 1:.0pm where people made items to be sold at the Christmas Tree Festival, which raises money for charities including the Hospice of St Francis.

As well as selling these items, there will be more stalls, refreshments and live music to enjoy at the festival.

It will take place from Friday, December 12 until Sunday, December 14, starting at 10am on Friday and Saturday following a short 9.30am worship service. On the Sunday it will start at 2pm and will conclude with a 4pm carol service.