Culture Articles

A Quaker Woman Sends a Christmas Card to a President

05 December 2019 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 2 comments

'No man can be despised / into goodwill.' | Kadir Celep / Unsplash.

This woman burns a mouse-bitten pinch of wax that passes for a candle, as she focuses the diamond of her mind on Donald.

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‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’, by Yuval Noah Harari

21 November 2019 | by Reg Naulty | 1 comment

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Jonathan Cape.

This book gives a serious assessment of the challenges facing our world. Its author, Yuval Harari, is a professor of World History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This work consists of twenty-one essays on a wide variety of contemporary topics.

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‘A Word from the Lost’, by David Lewis

21 November 2019 | by Margaret Heathfield

Close-up of the book cover. | Courtesy of Inner Light Books.

This fine book is both scholarly and approachable. The author sets out to explore James Nayler’s thought and theology and reflect on its relevance today, by contrasting it with later Quaker thought as shown in our books of discipline since Nayler’s time. He achieves his aim with aplomb,...

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Why I Wear Your Socks Today

21 November 2019 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 1 comment

'This is why I wear your socks today.' | Paula May / Unsplash.

I wear your socks today so that I can see more deeply into the old woman ahead of me in the post office. She is ashamed to be so slow. She says sorry, sorry to the queue as she shakes in her girlish jeans. I repeat the words you taught...

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‘There is no audience quite like a prison audience.’

14 November 2019 | by Lynn Morris

‘Are we speaking out as yet about the two women a week being killed by abusive partners?’ | Courtesy of Journeymen Theatre.

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month and those who noticed were encouraged to wear purple to show their support. I have to ask, who actually did know? At Journeymen Theatre, as we engage with audiences all over the UK, performing our play on domestic abuse Rock And A Hard Place,...

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‘No one is too Small to Make a Difference’, by Greta Thunberg

14 November 2019 | by Frank Regan

Close-up of the book cover. | Penguin Books.

The upcoming Christmas story takes place in obscurity. Bethlehem is the least, the smallest, of villages. Mary and Joseph are among the least of society. The baby is born into physical smallness and social insignificance. I am struck in these times by smallness. This small book (eighty pages) is by...

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Poem: A Friend reads Psalm 139 in Meeting

14 November 2019 | by Lucy Crispin | 1 comment

'Together we wait through breaths...' | Carolyn V / Unsplash.

I sit in a different seat today. Cutting it fine, Friends slip in, join the deepening stillness. The crunch of tyres on gravel, a door-tongue carefully released, the known slow tap of ferrule on floorboard: the small sounds stir the silence which settles again, as water over a pebble or...

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‘Bridgebuilding’, by Alastair McKay

07 November 2019 | by Richard Seebohm

Close up of the book cover. | Canterbury Press Norwich.

This book was launched at St Ethelburga’s in the City of London. The church was rebuilt from the ruined shell that was left after the Bishopsgate IRA bomb of 1993. As a centre for reconciliation it claims four striking values: crisis as an opportunity for change; spiritual values into action;...

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Silent school

07 November 2019 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Wordless, nevertheless, I turn my mind / to the plain vase gifted with peonies' | Alex Seinet / Unsplash.

Three high windows deliver the movement of summer trees and light on a central table, water jug, vase, flowers, books.

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‘Into the Depths: A chaplain’s reflections on death, dying and pastoral care’, by Rosie Deedes

31 October 2019 | by Nick Wilde

Close-up of the book cover. | Sacristy Press.

Rosie Deedes works in spiritual care at the Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight. She has also worked as a chaplain in prisons and at a university. She draws on that experience in this book, which, though not an easy read, is very readable.

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