Faith and Action; Quakers and the First World War

Confronted by war and suffering what would you do?

For Quakers faced by the outbreak of the First World War, answering this question was complicated by their historic commitment to peace-making. A thought-provoking exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) has brought to life this challenging scenario of Quaker involvement in the war and the pressures experienced.

Based in Chamberlain Square in Birmingham city centre, the BMAG are holding the exhibition in the Community Gallery until June. A collaborative project between Central England Quakers, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and BMAG the collection aims to educate and inspire visitors about Quaker values past and present.
The exhibition covers all aspects of Quaker involvement in World War One and the challenges for them; taking the form of sound, artwork, film, artefacts and photographs. Topics covered includes pre-war peace-making initiatives, Friends Ambulance Unit, conscientious objectors' experiences, Quakers who joined the armed forces, the impact on Quaker businesses and Quaker Humanitarian and relief work across Britain and Europe.

The Priory Rooms’ Director Jim Green has been one of many volunteer stewards at the exhibition available to talk to visitors about the collection. Jim is delighted by how many visitors have engaged with the exhibition

Many visitors have remarked how inspiring they have found the accounts of individual Quakers who, whilst opposing the concept of war, have helped, and in many cases transformed, the lives of people and communities blighted by the war.

The exhibition is available to view at the BMAG until the 7th June 2015, for more information about the museum visit their website http://www.bmag.org.uk/birmingham-museum

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