I spent a lot of today at an event promoting local advocacy services with a view to ensuring that people who may be marginalised or excluded from access to services and support for a whole range of reasons are able to make decisions about their own lives and have them respected.
The event took place here at the Quaker Meeting House - a well-used community venue and the successor to previous Meeting Houses in Liverpool dating back to 1709.
As I've recently mentioned, I'm not a believer myself, but I do have a lot of time for the Quakers (otherwise known as the Religious Society of Friends) who are one of our last remaining connections to the plethora of radical social movements that emerged in the 17th Century at the time of the English Revolution / Civil War. Proto-anarchists and socialists such as the Diggers, Levellers and Ranters.
"...a numberless crew of locusts have sprung out of the bottomless pit, assuming to themselves the names of Arians, Arminians, Socinians, Antinomians, Anabaptists, Familists, Antiscripturists, Antisabbatarians, Antitrinitarians, Libertines, Erastians, Levellers, Mortalists, Millenaries, Enthusiasts, Separatists, Semiseparatists, Quakers, and many more of the same brood... No country from the foundation of the world hath brought forth and brought up, so many monstrous births as [England] hath done."
Thomas Hall (1660)