Culture Articles

‘Here we come a-carolling’

20 December 2018 | by Alec Davison

Carols are ‘a dancing kind of song’. | Pixabay via

‘The universe is the song of God’, imagined the Quaker composer Donald Swann. He and his friend Sydney Carter were, I think, two of the greatest songwriters of the twentieth century, abundant in melody and memorable in lyric. They opened up the world of carols, not limiting them just to...

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The Jesus ghost

20 December 2018 | by Linda Ewles

'When I was little / Jesus lived behind sunbeam clouds...' | James Wheeler / flickr CC.

When I was little Jesus lived behind sunbeam clouds, wearing a white nightie, like an angel who didn’t need wings. He sent my aunty a miracle baby and heard my prayers in Sunday School. I won a prize for a plasticine Joseph and Mary.

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Some broader current?

13 December 2018 | by Stephen Cox | 2 comments

Quote by Stephen Cox. | Tim Mossholder via

‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ I realise some writers call this a bad question – certainly an annoying one, since it is so common. Yet it’s an honest one: a seeking after truth.

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Heaven on Earth

13 December 2018 | by Stuart Masters

During the 1990s, three Woodbrooke tutors engaged in a sustained and fruitful dialogue based on their respective areas of research and teaching. This resulted, initially, in a course, and subsequently in a book, Heaven on Earth: Quakers and the Second Coming, published in 1998. The book has just been republished to...

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08 November 2018 | by Chris Lawson

'...she has composed music that fits the words and sentiments.' | David King / flickr CC.

And we are only justified in going on living if our futures manifest at every point and at all times a heroism equal to those killed in battle. The above words are based on the thoughts of Corder Catchpool in 1919 which Emily Feldberg uses in the concluding section of her...

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Let your life speak

08 November 2018 | by Rebecca Hardy

Sara Barnard has appeared in the Friend before – at the age of eleven her poem ‘See God’ was published in the magazine. Fast forward to today and the former attender at Winchmore Hill Children’s Meeting is a successful Young Adult writer on the shortlist for the coveted YA Book...

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Wordless Knowing

25 October 2018 | by Joyce Gee

'As a small child I loved wandering / In fields of wild flowers, insects and bees ...' | via

I am eighty-eight years old And much has changed In my inner and outer life But what has not changed Is that from a very early age I sensed a wordless knowing That I am a small evolving part Of the Creative whole Of Inner and outer existence An existence...

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Waiting for the last bus

25 October 2018 | by Nick Wilde

In Richard Holloway’s book A Little History of Religion, in a chapter called ‘Friends’, he calls George Fox ‘one of the most attractive figures in the history of religion’ and concludes by saying that: ‘The Society of Friends may be one of the smallest denominations in the world but...

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Glimpses of Eden

18 October 2018 | by Rosalind Smith

'We come with our eyes more open and ready to be amazed and exhilarated by sights such as the murmurations of starlings...' | reway2007 / flickr CC.

Jonathan Tulloch will be known to many, not only for his novels, which have been serialised on BBC Radio 4, but also for the series of gentle, thought-provoking passages he writes regularly in the ‘Nature Notebook’ in The Times and, probably more amongst Catholics, in The Tablet. Glimpses of Eden: Field...

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A study of tribunals

11 October 2018 | by Anthony Wilson

Britain was the first country to include the right to claim conscientious objection as a reason for exemption from military service. The Military Service Act of 1916 brought in conscription for the first time in Britain, to make up for the heavy losses of military lives in the first eighteen months...

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