Issue 29-04-2022

Featured story

In good time: Peter D Leeming’s Thought for the Week

FREE 28 Apr 2022 | by Peter D Leeming

I sit in Meeting and look across at the friendly face of our old clock, gazing down on us as it has done for many years. As I settle into worship, I try to catch the sound of its ticking, something which I always find helpful in quietening my mind....

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Grace period: Tony D’Souza sings from a well-known hymn sheet

28 Apr 2022 | by Tony D’Souza

'I do not know how long I spent with the river of light flowing through me. It could have been seconds, minutes or hours. I had no idea of time.' | Photo: by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Grace came to me (as it must come to any of us) as a complete surprise. It came as something totally unexpected – out of...

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Easter protests outside Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s

FREE 28 Apr 2022 | by Rebecca Hardy

'Some of the clergy attending the service joined members of Christian Climate holding their banner.' | Photo: courtesy Christian Climate Action

A group of Christians held a protest outside Westminster Abbey in London during its Good Friday service, calling on the Church of England to take its investments out of fossil fuels. As worshippers left Westminster Abbey, the protestors from Christian Climate Action handed out leaflets outlining why the Church of...

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Brought to book: John Wattis on early Friends and the Bible

28 Apr 2022 | by John Wattis

'Fox also insisted that, though the Bible contained the word of God, the Word in its full sense was synonymous with Christ and the light.' | Photo: by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

Sometimes we forget that early Quakers were among the first people in Britain to have reasonably-easy access to the Bible in the vernacular. It informed a great deal of early Quaker thinking, and it was foundational to George Fox’s understanding, along with a personal encounter with Christ as ‘one...

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Out of order? Elizabeth Coleman on personal responsibility

28 Apr 2022 | by Elizabeth Coleman

‘Legislation like this gets through when MPs fear for their careers – because of obedience.’ | Photo: by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Some decades ago, a Quaker called Rachel Pinney taught me the slogan ‘Obedience is a sin’. She said that, in her experience, much more evil happened because people were obedient to authority than because they rebelled. She told of surgeons who drank heavily and were a danger to their patients,...

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Different class: Sarah Barrett on Brummana High School, Lebanon

28 Apr 2022 | by Sarah Barrett

'Friends of Brummana High School (FBHS) and the Trustees of QuIET are raising funds to support the school, which is dipping deep into its reserves.' | Photo: David Gray, teaching at BHS

I’ve just returned from eight days listening to staff, students and parents at Brummana High School in Lebanon, which is owned by Quaker International Educational Trust (QuIET). Lebanon’s deep financial crisis is causing huge problems, but there’s also much to celebrate. I hope the following excerpts from...

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Quaker climate expert in call for British Museum to ditch BP

FREE 28 Apr 2022 | by Rebecca Hardy

A leading Quaker climate expert has put his name to a submission placing renewed pressure on the British Museum to cut ties with BP.

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Friends welcome hunger striker’s success

28 Apr 2022 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers have said they are delighted that the hunger striker Angus Rose has achieved his aim for MPs to be briefed on the climate crisis. The fifty-two-year-old heard on his thirty-seventh day of fasting that the scientific advisor Patrick Vallance would give a public address to MPs and ministers. The...

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Quaker women speak out for International Women’s Day

28 Apr 2022 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has said that she would love to see young girls being given more opportunities to play with STEM-inspiring (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toys and encouraged to take leadership roles.

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Sacked AFSC worker says goodbye

28 Apr 2022 | by Rebecca Hardy

A former director at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), who was fired after criticising the organisation’s restructuring programme, has urged her colleagues to continue ‘fostering the distinct message and principle of Friends’.

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Set, apart: Rob Paton on our own ‘unco guid’

28 Apr 2022 | by Rob Paton

Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet, had an uneasy relationship with the kirk – to put it mildly. Presbyterians, like Quakers, were ‘dissenters’. They became fierce defenders of their self-governing communities of the faithful, where each individual could have direct access to Divine inspiration by reading the Bible. This was the...

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Dowlais Educational Settlement and the Quaker John Dennithorne, by Christine Trevett

28 Apr 2022 | by David Harries

Merthyr Tydfil has a long, colourful history. The valley is made up of many distinctive communities, including Treharris (with its Fox, Fell and Penn Streets), through Quakers Yard (with Friends’ burial ground), and on to Aberfan and Dowlais. The area was once famous for iron works and coal mines, but...

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The Struggle for India’s Soul: Nationalism and the fate of democracy, by Shashi Tharoor

28 Apr 2022 | by Reg Naulty

This book was precipitated by Narendra Modi’s second term as prime minister of India. The country is becoming more autocratic, like Hungary and Turkey. The title suggests that something mystical, or at least spiritual, is in danger of being lost, but that is not what Shashi Tharoor is arguing...

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Strange meeting (after Wilfred Owen)

28 Apr 2022 | by Roger Iredale

And suddenly we came upon fellow men, sipping tea in a basket of darkness underneath a hollowed gentle moon. Their voices overcame the stillness of the silvered glade, the whereabouts of mystery

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Letters - 29 April 2022

28 Apr 2022 | by The Friend

Pacifism I appreciated the thoughtful letter from Jan Arriens (15 April). But I think his view of Quakers as ‘standard bearers of the peace movement’ in the century following the Napoleonic wars, should be qualified; the era of ‘Pax Britannica’ was largely based on the military (and particularly naval) superiority established...

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