Culture Articles

What the animals said

13 April 2023 | by Alison Leonard

‘You are one of us, a part of what we are a part of. We have seen the burdens that you bear.’ | by Miah Rose on Unsplash

Ashamed of cars and war, I went to the place of earth and sat under a ring of damson trees, and asked the damson stone to call the animals round. It took its time, took my hand to feel the twisted trunks, brittle twigs, the age-long infancy of damson, its...

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The Varieties of Spiritual Experience: 21st century research and perspectives, by David B Yaden and

13 April 2023 | by James McCarthy

'Of those who claim to have had a spiritual experience, some are atheists, some evangelical Christians; many are agnostic.' | Book cover of The Varieties of Spiritual Experience: 21st century research and perspectives, by David B Yaden and

Have you ever had a spiritual experience? If so, you are among the thirty-five per cent of people who have, according to this fascinating book.

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A Friendly Word, by Stephen Sayers

06 April 2023 | by Stephen Sayers

‘I don’t think the author has left any gaps.’ | Book cover of A Friendly Word, by Stephen Sayers

This book is relatively short, only about twenty pages, but it covers a huge amount of ground – Quaker ground. It aims to explain what it means to be a Quaker to young people over the age of about seven years.

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You Matter: The human solution, by Delia Smith

30 March 2023 | by Howard W Hilton

‘One might think one was reading a Quaker text.’ | Book cover of You Matter: The human solution, by Delia Smith

Yes, this book is by that Delia – the one who taught us to cook, the part owner of Norwich City Football Club. The years have passed and she has turned from food and football to philosophy. Much influenced by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the (almost heretical) French...

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Today I am giving up judgement

30 March 2023 | by Dana Smith

'Just like the grace of feeling one’s way… on my knees… the free-fall of love into this new way of walking.' | by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

It drops but not like a knife skittering across the kitchen floor… The faces across from me: wind- bitten, old and close as mountain streams bloom in the rose steam of Hibiscus tea. I wonder how I hadn’t noticed their beauty in just this way before. Even the dog...

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Battles of Conscience: British pacifists and the second world war, by Tobias Kelly

23 March 2023 | by Lucy Pollard

‘An absorbing and thought-provoking read.’ | Book cover of Battles of Conscience: British pacifists and the second world war, by Tobias Kelly

Making the choice to be a pacifist can never be easy, but being a conscientious objector (CO) in time of war must be much harder. In world war two, COs were generally treated with more sympathy than they had been in world war one, but their decision was often complicated...

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First Friend

23 March 2023 | by Steve Day

Enslaved people cutting sugar, Antigue 1823 |

Fox by name, George by birth, Earth-Quaker elevated to silent spokesman caught in the fault line of a civil war. Let us live simply, a postscript Penn of beatitudes maintaining a silence towards slavery louder than fear of a good-god inhabiting the crucible colours hung on Calvary.

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Transitional, by Munroe Bergdorf

16 March 2023 | by Marisa Johnson

'I was particularly moved by the passages describing the healing of relationships with Munroe’s parents.' | Book cover of Transitional, by Munroe Bergdorf

‘In one way or another, we all transition’ is the strapline under the title of this book. How true that is of us as individuals, and of us as a community.

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Last Sunday

09 March 2023 | by Jenny Gateau

'There I met God awaiting, frail and tired and very old as you might expect.' | by Marius Matuschzik on Unsplash

To Harvey Gillman Last Sunday I was prompted by love and truth to read out your poem ‘Gloria’ for it seemed particularly apt. Walking to our Meeting House in the keen east wind, I’d passed the bus stop, next bus fifty minutes hence.

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The Thirteenth Angel, by Philip Gross

09 March 2023 | by Jonathan Wooding | 1 comment

'Silence that is our whole habitation, here-ness, how this water-planet thinks and breathes and speaks.' |

Philip Gross is not a Quaker mystic, if that’s what you’re thinking when you see the word ‘angel’ in the title of his latest book of poems. He’s not a Quaker ranter, either, I might say – not angry and satirical, which he could have been, what with...

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