Culture Articles

Roger Bannister crosses the line

29 September 2022 | by Rosemary Mathew

'Who can forget that famous image – the monochrome of total exhaustion, falling into arms outstretched?' |

How we cheered in childhood, back when we, in the world, were young; seeing that tall figure stride, steady as a metronome, to achieve the unachievable, and, reaching the end, give us the hopefulness to believe the unbelievable.

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Uncivil worship and witness: Following the lamb into the new creation, by Michael J Gorman

29 September 2022 | by James Gordon

Book cover from Uncivil worship and witness: Following the lamb into the new creation, by Michael J Gorman |

I am in a curious position regarding this book, most of which I found helpful and illuminating. Its title denounces me as having read Revelation irresponsibly – it was through reading it in 1971 that I found myself steered towards Quakers. I was amazed to find that the images described had been...

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Old Rage, by Sheila Hancock

22 September 2022 | by Nick Wilde

Book cover of Old Rage, by Sheila Hancock |

As many readers will know, Sheila Hancock takes her Quakerism seriously. In this latest work of autobiography (covering 2016 to 2021), she begins with a note about becoming a dame. Should she accept? Is it in keeping with a Quaker belief in equality? She decides that to turn it down would be...

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Faith songs

22 September 2022 | by Michael Saunders

Photo by Cedrik Malabanan on Unsplash |

I I have faith, not in God, but in the infinite tenderness of your touch, in the fragility of this.

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The Salt of the Earth, by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

15 September 2022 | by Helen Porter

'Over twenty years they planted 2.7 million trees.' |

This 2014 film, which chronicles the life’s work of the photographer Sebastião Salgado, is a hard watch. The camera is pitiless, presenting horrific images – corpses in Rwanda, skeletal bodies in the Sahel – but with deep humanity and empathy.

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The Last Days, by Ali Millar

15 September 2022 | by Robert Ashton

‘Ali Millar is brutally frank about her life and experiences.’ | Book cover of The Last Days, by Ali Millar

I’ve always found Jehovah’s Witnesses fascinating and, over the years, have come to know several reasonably well. But only one, Kevin our window cleaner, has ever been prepared to talk about faith. We’ve chatted about how he spends Saturdays knocking on doors, and how he remains cheerful,...

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Recycling facility

15 September 2022 | by RV Bailey

'Recycling’s the word that makes it OK To throw so many things away.' | by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

What shall I do with this, the old lady asks, Offering a telephone. It still works. Not now, it doesn’t. He chucks it in a skip.

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Forgiveness: An exploration, by Marina Cantacuzino

08 September 2022 | by Tim Newell

‘Forgiveness is seen as a gift when it is experienced.’ | Book cover of Forgiveness: An exploration, by Marina Cantacuzino

This is a significantly hopeful book for our time. We’ve been through the extended trauma of Covid (its impact on our health and our reaction to its mismanagement), and the continuing uncertainty and lack of confidence in our political leadership, direction and competence. The coarsening of public discourse and...

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White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s legacy of slavery, by Thomas Harding

01 September 2022 | by Kathleen Bell

'As Quakers, we tend to be keener to describe our anti-slavery activities than to acknowledge the profit Quakers made from slavery.' | Book cover of White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s legacy of slavery, by Thomas Harding

We inherit a past in which damage was done. We can’t cure the damage, but its effects persist. It presents us with responsibilities.

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25 August 2022 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

‘Her gentle look turned the spider, crawling up the side of the tub into a miracle, in a tuneful minor key.' | by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Jesus did not appear to me today in a burnt a piece of toast. Nor in the face of the cornbread, nor in the sad black eye of the sunflower. Maybe he was lingering in the musical shadows of children singing in my morning dreams.

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