Who we are
The Quaker Truth & Integrity Group (QTIG) began as an informal group of Quakers sharing a deeply felt concern about the state of truth and integrity in public life in Britain. In March 2022 it gained official recognition by the national Quaker body (Britain Yearly Meeting) as a “Quaker Recognised Body”. The following statement was adopted on 3 October 2022.
Truth and Integrity: Finding Common Ground
Truth and integrity have been at the heart of the Quaker movement for over three hundred and fifty years. We were once called Friends of the Truth, and have a tradition of speaking truth to power and exercising quiet diplomacy. Whilst our record is not flawless, historically we have stood firm in relation to the abolition of slavery, prison reform and conscientious objection.
As people of faith we seek a world transformed, where compassion, equality, truth and integrity are guiding principles. In the meantime, our belief in equality and the intrinsic worth of each individual means that we value democracy as a form of government. Just as we wish our children and grandchildren to inherit the beautiful planet we have experienced, so we want them to enjoy the benefits of a mature democracy where truth prospers and the rule of law applies. Governing with truth and integrity is essential for generating trust; when that trust breaks down people become disillusioned, and leaders lose their mandate to govern.
At the core of Quakerism we experience a sense of oneness, wonder and mystery. That universal sense provides the basis for the cooperation so urgently needed in our troubled world. We seek kinder ground: the ground of tolerance, respect, mutual cooperation and shared ethical and spiritual values, where oppression can be addressed and reconciliation sought between those of opposing views. We know that this vision is shared by many other individuals and groups, of all faiths and none.
The world has entered a deeply troubling phase. Standards of truth and integrity in politics, public and commercial life and social media are being undermined to the extent that democracy itself is under threat. Many of those in power would seem to act with impunity, disregarding facts and scientific findings. Respect for the judiciary is being undermined and trust in our institutions is threatened. All this is set against a backdrop of the climate emergency and increasing inequality and polarisation.
It was in response to this need that the Quaker Truth & Integrity Group was set up as a national Quaker body in Britain in March 2022. QTIG has committed itself to:
With these objectives in mind, we intend to institute a national Quaker Truth & Integrity Award to recognise exceptional contributions towards the enhancement of standards of truth and integrity in public life.
In a society in which lies, injustice, inequality, deception and entitlement are prevalent it is only the truth – in all its uncomfortable forms – that will heal us.
Where truth and integrity flourish, so too can personal relationships. Where truth and integrity stand firm, so too can our democracy and our precious traditions. Unless truth and integrity are universally acknowledged and practised, at a fundamental level, international relations cannot fully and completely address the crises that threaten our very existence.
We invite others to join us in this endeavour. We are looking to find partners, people all across the political spectrum who are of good faith and goodwill, so that we can engage together in this urgent and vital work of transformation. Can we work together?
We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other … but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound. Edward Burrough, 1659
A Welsh translation of the Declaration may be found here:
John Woolman shaking hands in Pennsylvania with the slaves of a fellow-Quaker with whom he had been staying, c. 1760
© Margaret Baker 2007