Foundations of a True Social Order

1920 Conference Report image. Copyright is believed to be with the Religious Society of Friends but the name "New Town" Council does not appear elsewhere and any further information would be welcome.Reimagining a True Social Order is a research project exploring how Quaker faith and social action today continues to be shaped by the aftermath of the First World War. We draw on historical research and on interviews with contemporary British Quakers.

This site explores the Foundations of a True Social Order, a document approved by Quakers in Britain near the end of the First World War. It looks at how the text was created, the social situation at the time it was written and how the document has been used by Quakers up to the present day. It also includes some materials for use in discussion and study groups. Click here for ideas about how to explore and use the website.

Foundations of a True Social Order, approved by London Yearly Meeting, 1918

  1. The Fatherhood of God, as revealed by Jesus Christ, should lead us toward a brotherhood which knows no restriction of race, sex or social class.
  2. This brotherhood should express itself in a social order which is directed, beyond all material ends, to the growth of personality truly related to God and man.
  3. The opportunity of full development, physical, moral and spiritual, should be assured to every member of the community, man, woman and child. The development of man’s full personality should not be hampered by unjust conditions nor crushed by economic pressure.
  4. We should seek for a way of living that will free us from the bondage of material things and mere conventions, that will raise no barrier between man and man, and will put no excessive burden of labour upon any by reason of our superfluous demands.
  5. The spiritual force of righteousness, loving-kindness and trust is mighty because of the appeal it makes to the best in every man, and when applied to industrial relations achieves great things.
  6. Our rejection of the methods of outward domination, and of the appeal to force, applies not only to international affairs, but to the whole problem of industrial control. Not through antagonism but through co-operation and goodwill can the best be obtained for each and all.
  7. Mutual service should be the principle upon which life is organised. Service, not private gain, should be the motive of all work.
  8. The ownership of material things, such as land and capital, should be so regulated as best to minister to the need and development of man.