Culture Articles

O may the wealthy consider the poor

20 October 2022 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'O that we may inhabit the mountain on which they neither hurt nor destroy!' | by Dim Hou on Unsplash

He knew the price of things: Rye about five shillings Oatmeal twelve per hundred pound. Mutton from three pence to five Bacon seven to nine. House rent for a poor man to be paid weekly. To be paid weekly. Wood for the fire scarce and dear. Many beasts slain to...

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13 October 2022 | by Sue Hampton

'And I could cry but I won’t, because I’m far too blessed.' | by Eva Wilcock on Unsplash

Once the lock clangs open I dance alone, obscured by billiard table and bookshelf in the sunlight by the bars where an old, stiff cobweb glints like the wire looping high into bright sky outside. At the foot of the fence old litter clings.

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Dovetailing: Gathered notes, by Clare Dearnaley

13 October 2022 | by Jane Gibbins

Book cover of Dovetailing: Gathered notes, by Clare Dearnaley | 'It is a beautiful balance of words and images.'

Dovetailing started life as a multi-dimensional exhibition of sculpture, music and film, held in the peaceful surroundings of Farfield Meeting House.

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Such a piece of love

06 October 2022 | by Angela Arnold

'Hearts will go on scanning the horizon for just one, often for long, thirsty stretches.' | by Matt Artz on Unsplash

On the first real day, right at the beginning, Love smashed into pieces (designed like that, God’s truth: made for it).

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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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