Culture Articles

After hard times

24 March 2022 | by Reg Naulty

'and all is bathed in peace, softly, which the mind recognizes clearly, and the glory of existence is known.' | by Amy Treasure on Unsplash

Patience comes first in that dark night; slowly, peace rises in the inward mind, then all the world around exhibits what there is, quiet and profound, disclosing itself as an offering; the soul appreciates what is offered.

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17 March 2022 | by John Bennett


The best would be the gift to heal; And what exchange could yield that gift? But hope compels the mind to kneel And then in silence turn the wheel; With each rotation short and swift The best would be the gift to heal.

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Outgrowing Dawkins: God for grown-ups, by Rupert Shortt

17 March 2022 | by Jonathan Wooding

‘It’s important for the religiously inclined to be able to defend themselves.’ | Book cover of Outgrowing Dawkins: God for grown-ups, by Rupert Shortt

I have a feeling that neither atheists nor the irreligious (nor the indifferent) will really feel the need to read this book. They’ve made up their minds, as Rupert Shortt indicates in a chapter entitled ‘A dialogue of the deaf’. But it’s important for the religiously inclined to...

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To my sisters and brothers

10 March 2022 | by Harvey Gillman | 1 comment

'But there were other worlds within my mind so vast no walls could encompass.' | of Kyiv, Ukraine by Maksym Tymchyk on Unsplash

As a child I was taught that the Russians and the Ukrainians had a long history of persecuting the Jews. My ancestors were refugees from Lithuania, My heart bleeds for the people of Ukraine and their supporters in Russia. And for the peoples of Palestine and Israel. For the persecuted...

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03 March 2022 | by Jonathan Wooding

'three blanketed horses graze in radio-silence' | by Janko Ferli on Unsplash

On the high field, battle-green and bracken-amber, three blanketed horses graze in radio-silence and doubting light.

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Loving Earth: Some starting points for Earthcare – an alphabet book from the Quaker Arts Network

24 February 2022 | by Annette Gambin | 1 comment

‘In spite of its size and cheerful appearance, this book carries a serious and important message. Small actions matter.’ | Book cover of Loving Earth: Some starting points for Earthcare – an alphabet book from the Quaker Arts Network

The Quaker Arts Network, which hopefully is familiar to many readers, has a soul child: The Loving Earth Project. It comprises a series of fabric panels on an ecological theme, and everyone is invited to be part of it. I would personally describe it as creative campaign, using textile art...

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We Speak Crisis Here, by Violet White

24 February 2022 | by Voirrey Faragher

'You may find that reading the poems is too painful and I do sympathise.' | Cover of We Speak Crisis Here, by Violet White

This small pamphlet of poems is remarkable. I commend it to any Friend who feels deeply the wounds we witness and experience in the world. White speaks from the heart of the intense suffering in our world, and of unbearable and unthinkable atrocities. She lays them before us in poetic...

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The chrysalis

24 February 2022 | by Judith Hedges

'Inside the case, the organs melted down, transformed. A mystery; a miracle beyond my comprehension.' | by Joshua J Cotten on UnsplashCameron on Unsplash

One hot afternoon in France, exhausted and longing for shade, I perched upon a wayside pile of logs, gingerly… for fear of snakes…

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Think again, Priti

17 February 2022 | by Frances Voelcker | 1 comment

'Home secretaries come and home secretaries go, but the laws that they leave can bring nations down low.' | by John Cameron on Unsplash

Priti Patel, Priti Patel your Police and Crime Bill will take us to hell, draconian powers never end well –  for pity’s sake, Priti, we have to rebel!

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Play favourites: John Lampen revisits Shakespeare’s Henry VI

17 February 2022 | by John Lampen

'Crowned aged nine months, he is entirely unsuited to rule and hates it. Yet he knows what his responsibility to his people...' | Chuk Iwuji as Henry VI in 2006, courtesy RSC

Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy was a big success in its time, but is seldom played today. The plays look boring on paper. Huge lists of characters have names that sound like county councils; long speeches are given in plodding end-stopped verse; indistinguishable battles recur. But past productions have shown...

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