Issue 27-08-2021

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Tony D’Souza has a dead reckoning

FREE 26 Aug 2021 | by Tony D’Souza

When was the last time you thought about the inevitability of your death? If you haven’t recently, perhaps you should, because it is stalking you. Whether young or old, fit or unwell, rich or poor, death is looking over your shoulder right now.

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Top stories

Lost in translation? James Gordon digs deep into Matthew’s Gospel

26 Aug 2021 | by James Gordon

‘The scholarly translators...have, I firmly believe, done us a considerable disservice in respect of Matthew.’ | Photo: by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It is perhaps novel for Friends to be poring over the precise meaning of ancient texts, and may even be offensive or divisive for some. But the elders at my Meeting recently chose a passage for reflection from the gospel of Matthew (25:35-40), and it prompted me to some close...

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Backdoor Parole, by Journeyman Theatre

26 Aug 2021 | by Fred Ashmore.

'Ron comes to appreciate Quaker silence and toleration. Prison is a noisy place; the nights are awful.'

How wonderful it was to be back at Friends House in July to attend a live performance by Journeymen Theatre. Both were sources of joy.

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Any witch way: Matthew Callow on pagans and Quakers

26 Aug 2021 | by Matthew Callow

‘They were passionate about the environment and the divine-feminine.’ | Photo: by Victoria Strukovskaya on Unsplash

At a time of alienation from the church, I experienced an unfamiliar and unpleasant void which I sought to fill. I became acquainted with the world of neo-paganism, and this was to be the place of my spiritual search for the following few years. It was fascinating to hear people...

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Machiavelli learns a lesson: a story created by ‘Instant Theatre’, facilitated by David Brown

26 Aug 2021 | by David Brown

‘My babies,’ she shouted. ‘I have been looking everywhere for you.’ She had raised them both as cubs. | Photo: by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Machiavelli was sitting in his study, drinking tea and wondering who to kill. Suddenly he noticed a creature running across his garden: a wolf!

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When a walk becomes a pilgrimage: Neil Rushton takes it in his stride

26 Aug 2021 | by Neil Rushton

‘What I had not expected was the spiritual part of this journey.' | Photo: by Mr. Autthaporn Pradidpong on Unsplash

I wonder what the difference is between a long walk and a pilgrimage. I presume one has a spiritual connection and one is just a long walk.

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Friends speak out on Afghan refugees

FREE 26 Aug 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting has urged the UK government to recognise responsibility for Afghan refugees. ‘The 20-year NATO intervention in Afghanistan did not bring about a peaceful and democratic society. Around five million people who have fled since 2012 have not been able to return to their homes. After the events of...

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Plaque for Peterloo Massacre

FREE 26 Aug 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Manchester & Warrington Area Meeting has installed a plaque to commemorate the Peterloo Massacre, 202 years after the travesty.

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Bristol workshops for nonviolent protests

26 Aug 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Bristol Quakers have launched their first nonviolence workshop for demonstrators, following a concern raised by a local Friend. The course ran on 1 July at Central Bristol Meeting House, where Jenny Smith talked of her pioneering role as liaison person in earlier Bristol demonstrations.

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Quakers say no to Cambo Oil Field

26 Aug 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has signed a joint open letter urging the government to reject the new Cambo Oil Field off the Scottish coast and end support for all coal, oil and gas developments across the UK. This is vital if the UK is going to meet its targets on...

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The Retreat appoints developer

26 Aug 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Retreat York has appointed the PJ Livesey Group, a specialist in refurbishing iconic buildings, as preferred supplier to develop the site of its former psychiatric hospital on Heslington Road.

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Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action

26 Aug 2021 | by Catherine Henderson

When I began reading Working with Conflict 2: Skills and strategies for action, I thought it wouldn’t really be directly applicable to me. I don’t work for an NGO or in a conflict situation; my experience is parochial rather than global. But I was mistaken.

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An Exacting Mistress: The Friends Ambulance Unit in WWII, edited by Antony Barlow

26 Aug 2021 | by John Lampen

This is a substantial book, well produced, illustrated and indexed.  It contains the wartime letters of Ralph Barlow and his wife Joan, the editor’s parents. Ralph was officer in charge of the Middle East Section of the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), and later its deputy director, travelling 30,000 miles...

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Poem: Come to Good

26 Aug 2021 | by Voirrey Faragher

May we, in our stillness speak to thee? In this wooden house let us bless each other         and be blessed. May we see your glory, hear your peace       in this valley of birdsong. We have waited long,       and yearned   ...

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Letters - 27 August 2021

26 Aug 2021 | by The Friend

Meeting houses In recent years, local Meetings have increasingly been encouraged to question whether they should keep their Meeting houses or consider moving to rented premises. This year’s Yearly Meeting Epistle asks us ‘to look afresh at… possessions like Meeting houses that might hold us back’. I would suggest...

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