Issue 09-07-2021

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Thought for the Week: Bob Ward has some light reading

FREE 8 Jul 2021 | by Bob Ward

At one of our recent discussion groups, a participant said: ‘You Quakers go on about “holding people in the light”. But what does that mean and how do you do it?’ A pertinent question indeed.

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Wit to witness: Rose Macauley goes to Meeting. Kate Macdonald recalls.

8 Jul 2021 | by Kate Macdonald

‘If the churches would give religion a rest and concentrate on ethics, who knows what odd results might follow.’ | Photo: Detail of book cover of Personal Pleasurers by Rose Macauley

In 1935 the British novelist Rose Macaulay published a second collection of essays and journalism, called Personal Pleasures. She had begun her journalistic career in the 1920s, and had made herself a name for her wit, her intellectual curiosity and her feminism. She was an Anglo-Catholic, yet had withdrawn herself from...

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Sex symbols: Fred Ashmore reports from a London Quakers discussion on gender diversity

8 Jul 2021 | by Fred Ashmore

‘To Thine Own Self be True.’ | Photo: by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Gender diversity generates powerful emotions. It’s one of the topics that will be prominent during Yearly Meeting Gathering. Last month London Quakers ran an online event to talk about the subject: ‘To Thine Own Self be True.’

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Free form: Simon Webb on Frederick Douglass and the Quakers of Newcastle

8 Jul 2021 | by Simon Webb

‘Douglass’s ideas did not line up entirely with those of Friends.’ | Photo: Frederick Douglass (left) and Anna Richardson (right)

Our new neighbours are doing so much work on their house that I sometimes wonder why they don’t just knock the whole thing down and re-build. But I suppose that would mean even more noise and dust, and far more large vehicles of various types parked in our little...

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Censorship Overruled: An alternative history of 1918, by John Ellison

8 Jul 2021 | by Christine Hayes

Detail from book cover of Censorship Overruled: An alternative history of 1918, by John Ellison

John Ellison’s short book opens at the beginning of 1918, when there was much discontent over food shortages and prices in Britain. There were many calls for peace, stimulated by Russia’s socialist revolution in 1917. It concentrates on the following eleven months, January to November, with Britain centre-stage.

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Huddersfield Friends join XR

FREE 8 Jul 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Photo courtesy of Clare Walters

Five Friends from Huddersfield Meeting joined a local Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in the town last month. Clare Walters from the Meeting told the Friend that the three-day vigil from 24 June was open to all ‘who grieve lives and habitats lost’ through human impact.

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Friends congratulate Methodists on same-sex marriage

FREE 8 Jul 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers have said that they are ‘overjoyed’ that the Methodist Church in Great Britain has decided to allow same-sex marriages. The church voted overwhelmingly to change the definition of marriage at the Methodist Conference last week by 254 to 46.

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Quaker teaching resource in Armed Forces Week

8 Jul 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) team launched a new teaching guide last month, on the reality of military recruitment, to coincide with Armed Forces Week. The lesson was produced in collaboration with Potent Whisper, a London-based rapper and spoken word artist, and Child Rights International Network (CRIN). The...

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Quaker podcasts for Festival of Chichester

8 Jul 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Speaking to the Chichester Observer, Quaker Jenny Cole said that the podcasts replace a walk around Chichester which has featured in previous years of the festival. ‘They are mainly about famous Quakers who have visited Chichester, from George Fox to Ian Serraillier (author of The Silver Sword), including Barton Hack...

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Public misled over Russia clash, says PPU

8 Jul 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has called on the BBC to publish Ministry of Defence (MoD) documents that were found at a Kent bus stop last month. The pacifist group, which includes many Quaker members, claimed that the fifty pages of classified information ‘make clear that ministers anticipated a clash...

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Group dynamic: Gerald Hewitson on Meeting of Friends in Wales

8 Jul 2021 | by Gerald Hewitson

I once heard the Society of Friends described as simultaneously being a church, a movement, a people and an organisation. Those attending Meeting of Friends in Wales (MFW) last month were able to enjoy a creative, imaginative and dynamic organisation at work, simplifying its own structures and impacting on the...

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Hear, hear: Piers Voysey reports from GM for Scotland

8 Jul 2021 | by Piers Voysey

Once again we are meeting online. How nice it is to engage with Friends without leaving home, but how sad not to see them in person – so much is lost and a sense of togetherness is missing. I feel as though a bit of me is not entirely present in...

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Letters - 9 July 2021

8 Jul 2021 | by The Friend

Concern over population I feel, with Nathan Wrench (25 June), that the speakers on the panel he attended had failed to reach out properly to the query from someone who had asked, obviously with some distress, whether she should have a baby, in view of the state of the world. Chris...

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