Testimonies

We believe our faith should translate into action. To help guide and challenge us to live this way, Quakers have a number of 'testimonies'. These testimonies have changed over the years as we want them to reflect current society and its issues.

Today their focus is on peace, equality, truth and simplicity.

Our testimonies encourage us to work locally and globally for social justice, support peacemakers and care for the environment. It's not always easy to live this way, but as Quakers we try to help, support and encourage each other to keep trying.

Peace

“Anger is not destroyed by anger, but by love alone.”

Peace derives from our conviction that love is at the heart of existence.

Quaker witness has led to a recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service and has involved relief and ambulance work in war-stricken areas. There has been a move away from the glorification of war towards seeing warfare for the moral abomination that it is.

Simplicity and Sustainability

“Do not love things and use people; love people and use things.”

Simplicity is not just about possessions but also about attitudes.
Simplicity involves constantly challenging the way we live and what our true needs are, and especially how our standard of living is sometimes achieved at the expense of others.

Equality

“Every man has a right to a decent life before any individual has a surplus above his needs. (Nyerere of Tanzania).”

Truth

“Try to be honest in word and deed”

Friends have long tried to live out the importance of truth in everyday life.

We can only be true to our innermost sense of spiritual harmony if we are faithful to the truth, and honest in our dealings. This is all the more important in today’s complex social, political and economic system where these values can be lost to sight. Truth and integrity are therefore something that Quakers regard as fundamental guiding principles, not just in their own lives but also in public affairs.

This stems from the conviction that all people are of equal spiritual worth.

The belief in equality and sharing is in conflict with the spirit of a materialistic and individualistic age.