Culture Articles

A golden light

25 November 2021 | by Anon

'Those who have gathered these four hundred years have watched those same sunbeams waken, glide and fall away.' | David Jackson on Unsplash

The following was submitted to Airton Meeting’s ‘Year in poems’ for 2020. All Friends, visitors and Malhamdale residents were invited to send original work to be shown on the Meeting website, one per month for the year.  Sometimes a golden light falls across the door to a place made...

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Between Living and Dying: Reflections from the edge of experience, by Ruth Scott

25 November 2021 | by Valerie Clarke

'Ruth’s hopes for survival were not to be, but this is not an unhappy or morbid book.' | Book cover of Between Living and Dying: Reflections from the edge of experience, by Ruth Scott

I bought this book because I wanted to compare the author’s experience of lymphoma with my own. Ruth Scott was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Non Hodgkin’s in 2017, and I was told in 2004 that I have an indolent, slow-growing one. We both had a stem cell transplant:...

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Poem: A Gathered Meeting

18 November 2021 | by Clare Wigzell

'In the silence, it twists slowly, caught in the open window’s wind, zinging as it catches sudden sunlight.' |

Written in response to the Dovetailing art installation at Farfield Quaker Meeting House, July 2021. Each time, from a new page, stillness uncoils from within me, to hang, suspended, in the Meeting’s light.

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English Pastoral: An inheritance, by James Rebanks

18 November 2021 | by Simon Webb

'One farm reaching for sustainability cannot solve all of our environmental problems, but Rebanks’ book gives his experiment an added significance.' | Book cover of English Pastoral: An inheritance, by James Rebanks

All the churches are now talking about the environment, but how many of us can talk about it with real authority? To have a comprehensive idea of what’s happening, one needs knowledge in a variety of fields: chemistry, botany, economics, even astronomy and palaeontology.

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Return from a Distant Country, by Alister McGrath

18 November 2021 | by Frank Regan

'Reality is multi-layered and multi-faceted. It requires different methods of investigation.' | Book cover of Return from a Distant Country, by Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath started out as an atheist enamoured of Marxism and scientism. He studied chemistry at Oxford, specialising in quantum theory. Along the way he discovered Christianity, being fascinated by its intellectual and imaginative depth. He wrote this short, intriguing book to set out the points where he believes science...

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Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve

11 November 2021 | by Pete Duckworth

'The depiction of a planet so warm that humans need technology to survive the noonday sun is likely to resonate in the aftermath of COP26.' | detail of film post of Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve

I came across Frank Herbert’s novel Dune as a student in the mid 1970s. Like many back then, I was looking for an epic world of fantasy and adventure as a ‘next read’ after exhausting all the works of JRR Tolkien. The film in cinemas now is the latest...

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04 November 2021 | by Roger Iredale


It is a time for bitumen. A chill wind scours the flanks of Ararat, the rain is needles on our skins, injecting pins of bitter steel. Bitumen comes sluglike, black, oozy; seals the keel with bonds of tightness holding hope below the storm.

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A design for life: Eleanor Nesbitt on architect Thomas Rickman

04 November 2021 | by Eleanor Nesbitt

Contemporary portrait of Thomas Rickman by Charles Barber. |

As a Coventry Quaker I’m excited by the reopening of Drapers’ Hall. It was built by Quaker architect Thomas Rickman and his partner Henry Hutchinson. It opened in 1832. The repurposing of the hall is one of seven projects celebrating Charles Windsor’s seventieth birthday.

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Review: The Shorter Proust

04 November 2021 | by Peter Lawrence | 2 comments

'The text flows beautifully and there is no sense of jumping from excerpt to excerpt.' | Book cover detail from The Shorter Proust

Some years ago I decided that, if I wished to consider myself well read, I should read Remembrance of Things Past in its entirety, all 3,300 pages of it. I dutifully set myself a daily reading schedule with the aim of getting through the entire behemoth within the year.

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Hope and Witness in Dangerous Times by J Brent Bill

28 October 2021 | by Stuart Masters

'There is an essential link between contemplation and action, so spiritual and political issues are inevitably bound together.' | Book cover of Hope and Witness in Dangerous Times by J Brent Bill

The Quaker Quicks offer accessible texts on key aspects of the Quaker way. These little books are suitable for both Friends and interested observers. In this case, US Friend, Brent Bill, who has written widely on Quaker spirituality, disciplines, and humour, considers how the Quaker understanding of witness can help...

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