From Young Quakers to residential care homes
The article on ‘elderly Quakerism’ (9 February) was well intentioned, but missed the real nature of the exclusion some under the age of thirty-five feel from British Quakerism.
In the October 2017 issue of The Young Quaker, the magazine of the Young Adult Quaker community, Young Friends themselves explored this very issue and came up with very different answers.
Broadly, they argued that the current dominant culture of British Quakerism is one that mostly cements rather then truly challenges many existing social privileges that operate within wider society.
Due to this Quakers are missing an amazing opportunity, as the culture that my generation is creating is one infused to its core with Quaker values of equality, openness and community.
This is evident in the new Young Quaker groups that are emerging across the country. Therefore, the best way forward is to listen and learn from under-thirty-fives themselves and embrace the new Quaker culture that Young Friends are constructing within and beyond their own Young Quaker communities.
A good place to start could be to read the October 2017 issue of The Young Quaker, which is available online.
We were sorry to hear Quaker Voices is no longer to be published. Harold Loukes, a dear friend and mentor, gave us a subscription to its predecessor Quaker Monthly in 1969 when we joined the Society, saying we would find it a better guide to British Quakerism than the more contentious columns of the Friend.
This has proved true for us, and we have greatly valued the insights, experiences, pictures and poems which it has given us over many years, and the absence of controversial exchanges.
The long series of articles by Ormerod Greenwood in the 1960s and 1970s were very formative for us, and are still worth revisiting. We are told that Quaker Life is developing more effective ways of engaging Friends in spiritual nourishment and learning; but we shall miss this one.
Diana and John Lampen
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