This podcast is about Quaker witness – action inspired by Quaker faith. Featuring Quakers talking about ideas and how to take action, Q:Witness explores a range of issues in Britain and internationally.

Q:Witness is taking a short break and plans to be back in spring/summer 2018. Have a listen to previous episodes and find links to further information on this page.



    Show notes

    Courageous conversations

    In an environment of increasing polarisation it's more important than ever to understand how to disagree well. In this episode we chat to Lisa Cumming, Turning the Tide Programme Manager, about different approaches to try when engaging with friends and family – or people you don't know well – on difficult topics.

    Find further resources from Turning the Tide at:

    Other resources

    5 ways to disrupt racism video:

    Having difficult conversations toolkit (PDF)

    The civil conversations project from On Being

    Books we're reading

    How to understand your gender by Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker

    How not to be a boy by Robert Webb

    Fields of blood by Karen Armstrong

    Image: Ben Wood

    Human rights

    Universal human rights are the legal and practical sibling to the Quaker idea that every person is unique, precious and a child of God – simply, that every person has a right to be treated with dignity and respect.

    In this episode we explore human rights from a European and international perspective. As Quakers in Britain issue a manifesto about the need to welcome newcomers to the UK with respect and dignity, we reflect on the perception of human rights in a Brexit landscape and hear about the Quaker spiritual view on human rights from Helen Drewery, Head of Witness and Worship at Quakers in Britain. In a wide-ranging conversation we speak with Sylvain Mossou and Martin Leng from the Quaker Council of European Affairs about human rights, the impact of Brexit, and responding to child immigration detention.

    Further reading:

    Rethinking security

    “We can't have security for people in the UK at the expense of security for people in other parts of the world"

    Rethinking security is an invitation to engage in public debate and dialogue about the way we think about security. The aim is to think and plan creatively in relation to safety, security, nonviolence and the role of peace initiatives, and revisit how we think about security to encompass all aspects of human well-being.

    In this episode of Q:Witness, we speak to Marigold Bentley, Head of Peace Programmes and Faith Relations, about why Quakers are involved in the rethinking security project. We also speak to Celia McKeon about the aims of the project and the ways that people can get involved.

    Learn more at or follow Rethinking Security on Twitter @SecurityRethink.


    The housing crisis in Britain has reached new lows in 2017, with 1 in every 200 people in the UK being homeless, house prices soaring far beyond the range of ordinary people, and social housing stock being decommissioned and not replaced. Quakers are stepping into the breach wherever they can – setting up YMCAs in meeting houses, running housing initiatives for young carers, and submitting amendments to housing bills as they go through parliament.

    In this episode of Q:Witness, Parliamentary Engagement Officer Jessica Metheringham speaks about living in true community, the Quaker roots of the Ethical Landlords Association, and upcoming work around demanding big-scale policy changes.

    We also speak with Jon Scarth of the anti-poverty campaigning organisation Quaker Social Action, which is 150 this year. Jon is piloting a housing scheme for young adults with caring responsibilities in East London, ensuring that they have an opportunity to live independently for the first time, and form their own connections to the wider world.

    Learn more about the projects and organisations mentioned in this podcast:

  • Ethical Landlords Association
  • Quaker Housing Trust
  • Quaker Social Action, Move On Up
  • Further information about Britain Yearly Meeting's work on housing
  • About Q:Witness

    Britain Yearly Meeting works on Quaker concerns nationally and internationally. In Q:Witness, learn about the work and how you can get involved. From social action and peacebuilding to economic justice and sustainability, we bring you analysis of the issues and ways to take action. You'll hear both from staff and from Quakers taking action.

    If you have a comment or question about the show, please feel free to tweet using the hashtag #Qwitness and we'll be able to respond. Or get in touch using the details below.


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    Related blog

    ‘Let them hear our silence’: experiencing the Silent Walk for Grenfell

    2 July 2018 by Lisa Cumming

    Contact us

    Elizabeth Payne
    Communications Coordinator
    020 7663 1158