Letters - 09 February 2024

From Sadness and surprise to Global warming

Sadness and surprise

It was with sadness and surprise that I read about the laying down of Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) (letters, 26 January) – sadness because such a charity is more essential than ever nowadays, and surprise because I hadn’t heard of it. Had I done so I would certainly have supported it, as I have been a supporter of Survivor of Torture for quite a while.

In Mary Aiston’s article on preparing for Yearly Meeting (‘Action plan’, 26 January) it says that Quaker bodies are listed in Quaker faith & practice (Qfp) 6.18. I confess that I haven’t read Qfp from cover to cover so I looked hopefully at 6.18 but it only talks about Agenda Committee. I then looked up torture in the index and read 23.30 and 31 but there was no mention of Q-CAT there either.

May I suggest that it would be helpful to have a series of articles in the Friend describing and publicising all Quaker charitable bodies and similar groups?

Dorothy Woolley

The wrong side of history

Last Sunday I bit my tongue throughout Meeting for Worship, hoping to speak during Afterwords. I said that I was deeply distressed at being a member of a society whose leader had just cancelled our crucial aid to starving Palestinians on the basis of an allegation from a government that has shown scant respect for truth or international law.

I added that this made us complicit in the systematic killing of literally tens of thousands of civilians, including women and children. ‘Democracy’ commits us to responsibility for the actions of our leaders.

My outburst was followed by a seasoned and committed Friend who rose, giving not only support, but adding that they were considering absence from Sunday worship for the foreseeable future because the present state of affairs makes calm and collected reflection impossible. Others confirmed similar feelings.

We live in terrifying times, made worse by lack of accountability from our leaders. As our country steadily moves towards the wrong side of history we ask what is the collective response of Friends to the pusillanimous and craven actions of our government in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Mavis & Roger Iredale

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