Vigil for Equality: 7 March 2015

Vigil for Equality: 7 March 2015

On Saturday 7 March 2015, Canterbury Quakers held a silent vigil in support of economic equality. Organised to take place during Quaker Equality Week 2015, the vigil was one of many public events held by Quakers throughout the UK.

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The vigil was held at a central location in Canterbury city centre: at the junction between the High Street and Guildhall Street (Debenhams Corner). There were nineteen Friends in attendance for part or all of the hour-long vigil, as well as two people from other churches. We had hoped that we would be joined by some Canterbury Humanists petitioning against the repeal of the Human Rights Act, but sadly they did not come along. However, early spring sunshine shone on us. Our presence attracted some attention from shoppers and passers-by, and several people came to talk with us. Despite being a pedestrian street, a police car drove past slowly a couple of times. We had been supplied with leaflets and posters by Friends House, and as can be seen from the photographs, the posters were made into placards and attached to boards. A Quakers for Peace banner (made by Janet Cook) served to emphasise our Quaker identity.
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The City Council was informed that the event would be taking place, and we were asked to ensure that we left no litter. The manager of Costa Coffee was also informed regarding what was about to take place, and she was very pleasant and relaxed about the event.
 
After the vigil,we retired to the Meeting House for some hot drinks, and cake made specially for the occasion by Helga Cukure. We discussed what needed to happen next. The idea of a further vigil was strongly supported, along with encouragement to try to involve other churches in Canterbury.
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A brief report of the vigil, along with a photograph, was subsequently printed in The Friend in its round-up of Quaker Equality Week 2015 events in the UK.