the friend online
25 July 2008


Ethical investment for Quaker bodies - preview

John Marsh reports on the seminar held at the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust in early July

Should a Quaker body invest in a company which makes playground equipment for a school in a military camp? Is it right to buy shares in a company responsible for the construction of a nuclear plant? Is investment a form of gambling anyway and if so, should Quakers invest money at all? Is it morally correct to leave monies on deposit in a bank which supports businesses and causes of which Quakers generally would disapprove?

If these questions seem unimportant or not relevant to you as an individual Friend that is your choice and you can ignore them
  • But the trustees of your Area Meeting and many other Quaker bodies now have to put in place policies about investment (or decide not keep any monies in reserve at all)
  • However, on the assumption that most Friends will be concerned about what is being done with their money the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) organised a seminar in York and invited twenty-five Quakers involved with investment to attend

  • John Marsh

    This is a preview of the full article - to see the whole thing, or to post a comment you need to login, or alternatively you could try a free sample!


    Stuart Wallace, 14 October
    Are any Quaker meetings or groups in the unfortunate position of having money invested in failed Icelandic banks? I am personally aware of a number of charities who are in this situation. Hopefully they will be able to find ways of getting their money out, but it will take time and great perseverance.
    It would be useful to be given some reassurance by someone on this topic.
    It also leads to the wider question of which financial institutions have a higher risk profile than others in the present climate, and whether investment in overseas based banks and institutions is advisable. Triodos Bank for example has a well-deserved good reputation but it is headquartered in the Netherlands.

    Peter Clery, 31 July
    John Marsh gave us an excellent account of the recent Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Investment Day. This was a helpful and positive day. However, much of the discussion there and elsewhere on the subject of ethical investment seems to centre round avoiding activities which we do not want to invest in – a rather negative attitude. Much research goes into the minutiae of what companies do and attempts are made to draw fines lines over what is and is not acceptable.

    May I suggest that Friends responsible for investment of Quaker funds consider a somewhat different approach.

    The essentials for human life are water, food, housing, clothing and energy. There are a range of investments available in these sectors. Concentrating on these sectors would help to ensure that our monies were put to positive good use and could be used as a stimulus towards developing new sources of life's essentials.


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    Facing down the Obama-crunch
    Oliver Robertson
    Ethical investment for Quaker bodies
    John Marsh
    Barney Smith & Symon Hill
    ‘We’ve seen a ground shift every day’
    Jez Smith
    New light and truth
    Rowena Loverance
    Reviews - Poetry of Silence / Better with lead?
    Andy Stoller & Judy Kirby
    Starved of green
    Colin George

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