Winchester Quaker Peace & Justice Group

Our peace testimony dates back to 1660 when early Quakers declared to King Charles II that they “utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons." The testimony is not simple, and not all Quakers will have the same understanding of what it will lead them to do in any given situation. Above all, it is about paying attention to all relationships, from those with family and neighbours to those between nations. It is an opportunity to undo some of the hurt in this world and to build a better future. 

"Remember, lest we forget!"

The 6th August is, for some of us, Hiroshima Day, marking the day in 1945 when for the first time an atomic nuclear bomb was dropped on the Japanese metropolis of Hiroshima, killing around 140,000 unwitting innocent citizens. Remember, lest we forget! Three days later on 9th August the second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing 60-80,000 civilians and around 150 soldiers. In total, up to 226,000 inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki died as a direct result of those two devastating attacks of 1945, the overwhelming majority of whom were civilians. 

"This should never be repeated. Never again!"

Let us never forget those who perished, and those still suffering consequential and hereditary illnesses caused by the first ever use of atomic nuclear bombs on humankind in 1945, that this should never be repeated. Never again!

During the 20th century, wars changed from conflicts between opposing armed combatants, to ones in which whole populations are drawn into the conflicts. A disturbing trend which continues around the world to this day.

We wear white poppies to remember those civilians who have been killed, traumatised or forced to flee their homes as a result of war. We also hold regular peace vigils at the Buttercross in Winchester.