Quakers Quietly Launch Their 350th Anniversary

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IN typical style, the Quakers begin the celebrations of their 350th anniversary this week with little fuss.

They will get on with their work - quietly struggling to defeat the forces of violence and extremism.

Established in Co Armagh in 1654, the Religious Society of Friends launched their programme for events for their anniversary year yesterday.

More than 250 people are expected to attend the all-Ireland yearly meeting and other events taking place in Waterford City Hall tomorrow, hosted by the mayor, Tom Cunningham.

A public lecture by Belfast Quaker and Queen's University lecturer Martin Lynn called Children of the Light will take place at Newtown School in Waterford tonight at 7.30.

The lecture will examine the faith and beliefs of 17th century Quakers and their relevance to today's society.

Often an enigma to those who have opposed them, and sometimes a source of inspiration to their sympathisers, the group quietly persist in what they believe to be a dedication to total integrity to the Christian light.

That has meant their principles of non-violence, pacifism and dedication to honesty have placed them at times in harm's path with other elements of society. …