Our Work

For Quakers, how they lead their lives is more important than what they believe. Their values and faith are often expressed in the work that they do. We are currently supporting the local work described below.

You can find out about the work done at a national level here.

Daylight Centre Fellowship (Wellingborough)

Wellingborough Meeting is increasingly supporting the Daylight Centre Fellowship, a local charity helping vulnerable people.

The Centre provides an affordable cooked breakfast and lunch, a safe place to be, expert advice, access to a computer and fellowship. In difficult economic times they have set up a Food Bank on top of their normal provision.

This is a place for vulnerable people to receive information and support in a non-judgemental environment.

Northampton Hope Centre

For over 25 years, Northampton Meeting has supported the valuable work done by the Hope Centre Northampton. In 2012, the Centre was adopted as our charity for the year and we raised over £1,000 for this worthwhile cause.

Quakers believe that we are all equal, and that we have a duty to help those who are in need. Over the past twenty five years Northampton Quakers have been concerned about the number of homeless people in the town. Some Friends have acted on that concern by volunteering at the Hope Centre (formerly The Soup Kitchen) on a regular basis. Others have donated food and clothing, and the Meeting has raised money, for example for furniture for a Quiet Room, when the centre recently relocated to the newly built Oasis building on Lower Mounts, and we also hold a general appeal every year for funds for the Centre.

When the old Soup Kitchen was first set up, the users were mainly elderly alcoholic men. Over the years this has changed, and the majority now are much younger. Many are homeless or living in insecure accommodation due to unemployment, drug use, or mental health problems. There are currently a number of nationalities using the centre, and the need to support the Hope Centre continues, particularly in the present economic climate.

Northampton Al-Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association

Two Northampton Quakers travelled to the Palestine in 2011 and 2012 with Quaker Voluntary Action, helping with the olive harvest on the West Bank and finding out about the lives and opinions of both Israelis and Palestinians. This led to a new town-twinning organisation called Northampton Al-Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association (NABPFA) being set up.

How NABPFA started

The Israel/ Palestine conflict has been a Quaker concern since 1948, when the State of Israel was formed and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became long-term refugees. For the past ten years Quakers have managed the UK contribution to ‘ecumenical accompaniment’ (the World Council of Churches international programme of human rights support in the occupied Palestinian Territories). In 2011 at Britain Yearly Meeting Quakers took the decision to boycott Israeli settlement goods. Quakers want an end to the conflict and an end to the occupation.

Two Northampton Quakers travelled to the region in 2011 and 2012 with Quaker Voluntary Action, helping with the olive harvest on the West Bank and finding out about the lives and opinions of both Israelis and Palestinians. The outcome has been a new town-twinning organisation called Northampton Al-Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association (NABPFA). Membership is available to everyone who supports the aims:

  • To raise awareness in Northampton of the difficulties being experienced by Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories
  • To provide a sense of solidarity, support and friendship
  • To raise political awareness and increase the numbers of people to put pressure on our government and the European Union to implement internationally agreed treaties and support United Nations resolutions
  • To support organisations aiming to work for a just and peaceful solution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine
  • To encourage dialogue among people of diverse views as a step towards conflict resolution
  • To share cultural, sport and other interests

NABPFA’s twin town in Palestine

Town-twinning is a well-established way of sharing and exchanging information on everyday life in different cultures. Al-Bireh is a Palestinian town in the West Bank about 16 kilometres north of Jerusalem and adjacent to Ramallah, with a population of over 50,000. Al-Bireh is a town with a traditional Arab culture and a long history. It has its own municipal government, a stadium and a library, a Red Crescent hospital and many schools.

NABPFA’s activities

We have business meetings to plan activities and we organise public meetings to share information, become better informed, and explore different points of view. Our activities in 2012/13 have included:

  • talks and photo exhibitions by visitors to the West Bank
  • speakers from representatives of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
  • a celebration of Palestinian life and culture at Northamptonshire Central Library
  • a visit from EU-funded volunteers from Palestine and France, organised in collaboration with Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association
    visits to local schools
  • dialogue with members of Northampton synagogue

If you would like more information about NABPFA please contact the Secretary, through the NABPFA website.