Culture Articles

Boxing Day morning, Walpole Park

16 September 2021 | by Barbara Davey

'There is the play of a fountain. They might waken to starlings and parakeets.' | by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash

Beneath its spreading branches the conifer shelters a body tucked up against the wall. The gloom makes details difficult to discern but they’re using a sleeping bag so it must have been planned in a manner of speaking. Out of the rain, the needled ground will afford a measure...

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Quicksand, by Henning Mankell

16 September 2021 | by Nick Tyldesley

Book cover and detail of Quicksand, by Henning Mankell |

Henning Mankell, author of the Wallander books, wrote this series of short reflections before his death from lung cancer. It is subtitled ‘What it means to be a human being’. He explores what makes humans happy, what we mean by the joy of living, and how to keep positive given...

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There is a toad in my garage

09 September 2021 | by Susan Nuttgens

'But she has three neat fingers on each foot / And she is looking at me.' | by Laura Seaman on Unsplash

There is a toad in my garage All the small birds have gone away Or maybe the local cats got them Or the magpies.

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Source material: Angela Greenwood’s Loving Earth panel

09 September 2021 | by Angela Greenwood

Angela Greenwood’s Loving Earth panel | 'It grew into storms, forest fires and chaos. It is messy, but somehow beautiful.'

My tapestry panel for the Loving Earth Project (above) is, I think, beautiful and chaotic. For me it evokes memories of a wonderful, creative, friendly and messy learning experience, in a serene house with my tennis club friends. I want to share how it all came about.

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Hope’s Work, by David Gee

02 September 2021 | by Frank Regan

Book cover of Hope’s Work, by David Gee |

David Gee, a long-time peace activist, wrote this book to ask if there can be a future in an age of crisis. Crisis seems to be a hallmark of our collective existence and recent history. The experience of it directs us to a turning-point. Which way to go? We have...

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Come to my house

02 September 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'The footprints of Lazarus still blaze in desert dust, waiting to spark fire in imagination.' | by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

Some would number us in lost accounting piles: a wind toppled abacus of old Quakers. Our vestments of truth may be frayed to lace, the burlap of equality clotted with centuries of mistakes.

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Backdoor Parole, by Journeyman Theatre

26 August 2021 | by Fred Ashmore.

'Ron comes to appreciate Quaker silence and toleration. Prison is a noisy place; the nights are awful.' |

How wonderful it was to be back at Friends House in July to attend a live performance by Journeymen Theatre. Both were sources of joy.

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Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action

26 August 2021 | by Catherine Henderson

Book cover of Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action |

When I began reading Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action, I thought it wouldn’t really be directly applicable to me. I don’t work for an NGO or in a conflict situation; my experience is parochial rather than global. But I was mistaken.

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An Exacting Mistress: The Friends Ambulance Unit in WWII, edited by Antony Barlow

26 August 2021 | by John Lampen

Book cover of An Exacting Mistress: The Friends Ambulance Unit in WWII, edited by Antony Barlow. |

This is a substantial book, well produced, illustrated and indexed.  It contains the wartime letters of Ralph Barlow and his wife Joan, the editor’s parents. Ralph was officer in charge of the Middle East Section of the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), and later its deputy director, travelling 30,000 miles...

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Poem: Come to Good

26 August 2021 | by Voirrey Faragher | 2 comments

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May we, in our stillness speak to thee? In this wooden house let us bless each other         and be blessed. May we see your glory, hear your peace       in this valley of birdsong. We have waited long,       and yearned   ...

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