Letters - 18 August 2017

From the word 'Quaker' to vision

The word ‘Quaker’

I was disappointed to read the statement ‘we don’t quake’ (23 June).

I have been a Quaker for over twenty years. The first time I ministered, I quaked. Most of the time I quake before ministering. I am suspicious of ministering if I don’t quake. I suspect I am not the only one.

We should be careful about making categorical statements about Friends.

The word ‘Friends’ is easily confused with ‘friends’. Quakers as a ‘brand’ name (whether we like it or not) is recognised by many people of faith. It can’t be ‘erased’. It is part of our history. I think we should let it be.

Don Stubbings

Quaker copses

Trees can prevent flooding and landslides, provide homes and shelter for animals, absorb carbon dioxide and are lovely to be around. Planting more of them could be a practical demonstration of our sustainability witness.

I have a vision of ‘Quaker copses’ appearing near every town and Meeting, planted by local Friends. It could be a good community building activity for Meetings, as well as beneficial to the environment and wider society.

I know that some Meetings already do this, as do groups like the Woodland Trust. Is anyone interested in working with me to achieve this?

Oliver Robertson

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