Issue 24-09-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: Joseph Jones on a lift in the spirit

FREE 23 Sep 2021 | by Joseph Jones

Remember the one about the guy who, for real and difficult reasons, couldn’t get to a meeting? I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Four of his friends were determined to help him participate, but the building wasn’t accessible to him. Those already attending weren’t prepared...

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Top stories

Population Matters: Jonathan Porritt talks to Yearly Meeting

23 Sep 2021 | by Jonathan Porritt

‘We need to put emphasis on policies that face these issues.’ | Photo: by Slava on Unsplash

The crisis of climate change is here. We have already exceeded one degree over pre-industrial temperatures and are anticipating a rise of three degrees by the end of the century. Angela Merkel, looking at the floods in Germany, said: ‘There is no word in our language to describe the horror...

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True blue: Jo Hallett from the City of Culture

23 Sep 2021 | by Jo Hallett

Blue ribbons on Coventry Meeting House | Photo: courtesy Jo Hallet

Earlier this month Friends in Coventry – this year’s City of Culture – were able to take part in Faith, a co- production organised with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). It consisted of a series of multi-cultural, multi-faith events across the centre of the city. Friends were involved with the organisation...

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Pop art: Simon Webb on our whitewashed African roots

23 Sep 2021 | by Simon Webb

A modern icon of Augustine of Hippo, in the Byzantine style

The church fathers were a group of theologians who lived from the early years of Christianity to around 750CE. Many Friends know little about them, but their writings helped define the background tradition of much of modern Quakerism. Some of their works are required reading for trainee priests in other...

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A timely epistle: Judy Lumb writes from Quaker Institute for the Future

23 Sep 2021 | by Judy Lumb

‘There is no “normal” to return to. We are on the other side of a changing climate’ | Photo: by Katie Rodriguez on Unsplash

Greetings to Friends everywhere. As trustees of Quaker Institute for the Future* we are moved to share with Friends our concerns about the urgent need to respond to planetary climate change. The world has gone from climate change to climate crisis to climate emergency. The time in which nations and...

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Seeing Iris, part three: Jonathan Wooding has more on a profound Quakerly thinker

23 Sep 2021 | by Jonathan Wooding

‘Is this why she never declared herself a Quaker?’ | Photo: Ida Kar/National Portrait Gallery

In ‘A Summer Night’, Wystan – WH – Auden, who was an English teacher at a Quaker school in the 1930s, appears to be sitting in a silent meeting. ‘Equal with colleagues in a ring | I sit’, he writes, and experiences an ‘opening light’ whose ‘dove-like pleading’ drives fear away, and provides...

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Friends in witness against DSEI arms fair

FREE 23 Sep 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Around 100 Quakers joined other Stop the Arms Fair protestors at last week’s Defence Security Equipment and International (DSEI) arms fair. Unlike previous years, no Friends were arrested.

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Friends in witness at MP’s office

FREE 23 Sep 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers in Cornwall have said they intend to hold a Meeting for Worship (MfW) outside the Conservative MP George Eustice’s office this week. Penzance Meeting tweeted that the gathering outside the constituency office of the secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Camborne will serve as ...

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Quakers speak out on Policing Bill

23 Sep 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has helped coordinate a joint open letter to the government about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill signed by over 350 organisations.

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Quaker pacifists in A House Through Time

23 Sep 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker pacifist couple William and Mary Lucy Whiting featured in the BBC programme A House Through Time.

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Swedish Friends ‘Walk for Future’

23 Sep 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Swedish Quakers have been taking part in a large, international journey across Europe to raise awareness for the climate crisis and the UN Conference of Parties (COP26) in November.

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A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

23 Sep 2021 | by Helen Porter

Ten years before Rutger Bregman’s Humankind (see review 14 August 2020) Rebecca Solnit pre-figured his view of human nature as fundamentally kind and co-operative by analysing our response to catastrophe. It chimes well with our desire to recognise ‘that of God in everyone’.

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Never again

23 Sep 2021 | by John Lampen

In our writing group a few weeks ago we were given the prompt ‘Never again’.  It was a good choice, because it points in two directions. It is the cry of protest at an injustice or cruelty: ‘This must not happen ever again!’ And it holds the sadness, the...

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Letters - 24 September 2021

23 Sep 2021 | by The Friend

On Meeting houses The Epistle of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) 2021 asks: ‘Is it time to look afresh at… possessions like Meeting houses that might hold us back?’ Surely, but we should do so with open eyes and open hearts. Some Meeting houses might hold their Meeting back. The lack of...

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