‘Witness and worship are both valuable parts of our spiritual experience.’

Friends Quarterly: Gill Sewell and Olivia Sewell Risley introduce themselves

Gill Sewell and Olivia Sewell Risley. | Photo: Courtesy of Gill Sewell.

A warm hello to you all! We would like to introduce ourselves as the incoming editors of the Friends Quarterly. We are extremely pleased to be taking on the stewardship of this publication from Tony Stoller, and would like to express our thanks for all the transitional support he has so generously given. We aim to make the journal both relevant and radical, and hope our varied networks of connections will open up possibilities for new voices to contribute, and for a range of perspectives to be heard.

Here’s a bit about us:

Olivia is a postgraduate student who grew up in a Quaker family. After participating in many Quaker youth events as a young person, she now enjoys returning to them as an adult volunteer, and may regularly be seen at national and regional gatherings. During her time at university she attended a non-denominational Christian church with friends, which was spiritually nourishing but theologically challenging, and has helped to shape her faith in new ways. She is interested in broadening the audience of Quaker publications, and in creating spaces for diverse views to be shared and discussed.

Gill has been a Quaker for more than thirty years and has had a varied career in local government and international NGOs, as well as at Quaker Social Action and Britain Yearly Meeting. She works as a spiritual director, external advisor and executive coach (not all at the same time!) with clients in the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK and internationally. She is passionate about marginal voices being heard, and inclusive theology.

We hope that the material we’ll include complements and challenges the themes and discussions at national Quaker gatherings. We also hope to develop strong ties with Woodbrooke and other Quaker centres. But we would gladly welcome any contributions, initial ideas and offers of service. Maybe you’ve been on the ‘Equipping for Ministry’ programme and would like to share how this has transformed you, or perhaps you’re serving on a national committee and would like to reveal some of the mystery of the inner workings. Or maybe you’d ‘just’ like to let us know how the spirit has moved you – witness and worship are both valuable parts of our spiritual experience. Whether you are new to Quakerism or have been on forty-seven committees, whether you reside in the UK or in warmer climes, whether you have presented at national gatherings or never felt the call to minister, we would like to hear from you.

We would also really like to hear from more Friends about what they would like to see in a long-read publication. If you have any ideas for articles you would like to read – or, better still, any articles you’d like to write! – please do contact us at editor@friendsquarterly.org. We are excited to oversee this next chapter of this publication’s life, and we very much hope you’re with us.

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