“May we look upon our treasures…”

Martina Weitsch of Quaker Council for European Affairs was interviewed on BBC Radio York on Sunday 06/03/2011. See the full transcript of Martina’s interview in this QCEA blogpost. Here is an extract of what Martina said:

“York is a very important part of Quaker history, and Quaker present. I myself have lived in Yorkshire for some time in the past, and so for me it’s a little bit like coming home, but one of the key things that is important for me to be in York is that this is the home of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker trust set up by Joseph Rowntree, just over a hundred years ago, and which has been supporting the work that we do in Brussels for a good number of years. Support which is incredibly important to us, without which we could not do the work we do, and for which we are very grateful. Equally important is the fact that John Woolman, an 18th Century American Quaker, who has still much to say about the issues that we work on, actually lived and, as it happens, died in York, and is buried here, so for us, this is a place that symbolizes the issues around which we work. Maybe I can quote John Woolman, in one of the quotes that is at the base of the work we do around climate issues, although he said it about slavery, and the quote is ‘May we look upon our treasures, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions’ (Quaker Faith and Practice, 23.16). If we add to that our cars, and our excessive lifestyles, then you can see how that relates to today’s situation.”

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