Letters - 8 January 2021

From Woolly hats needed to Sydney Carter

Woolly hats needed!

Get out your knitting needles! We have an urgent request from the prison chaplains at HMP Wandsworth.

The residents at this old, cold prison are exercising outside in prison tracksuits. Indoors it’s not much better with central heating described as ‘ineffective’ at best. So, the chaplains have come up with the project of providing a hat for every man – 1,476 in total.

In the coldest sections of the building these hats will even be worn in bed. These hats can be knitted, bought or second hand so long as they comply with prison rules, namely: NO black hats; NO peaked hats; NO hats with ear pieces; NO hats with slogans. However, beanies and bobble hats are welcome.

Please send hats to: Visitors Centre, Wandsworth Prison, 17 Heathfield Road, London SW18 3HR. Can we rise to the challenge to do something to help ameliorate this disgraceful situation?     
Melanie Jameson
Co-clerk of Quakers in Criminal Justice

Light for our darkness

Thank you for an inspiring Christmas issue (18 & 25 December 2020). I sat down to read it a few days after Christmas, a time for writing thank you letters, but this came first. 

Was it the experience of Covid-19 on us all? Perhaps, but something seems to have been released, strong and heartfelt, simple yet universal.

A breadth of vision included the clarity and universality of the Koran and Islam; different perspectives on Joseph, Mary, Jesus and others in the story; humility in recognising our continuing complicity with racism and exploitation of the world and its beings; generosity in tributes to, and examples of, unstinting dedication of human gifts and labour for the wellbeing of others; humour, insights, cheerfulness and compassion.

So thank you to all who work for and contribute to the Friend, and for the gift of this issue, which seemed to me so right at this particular time – light for our darkness, a light from the infinite source.

Kit Welchman

You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.