Issue 13-01-2023

Featured story

Thought for the week: Noël Staples has words with George Herbert

FREE 12 Jan 2023 | by Noël Staples

I read George Herbert’s lovely Love III in ministry recently. It’s significant for me, and I keep a copy in my wallet.

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Joined-up writing? Jonathan Wooding discusses Basil Bunting

12 Jan 2023 | by Jonathan Wooding

‘No poet wants to be labelled – they all want to break the mould – but Bunting acknowledged his roots.’

or my money, Basil Bunting (1900-1985) can legitimately be regarded as a representative Quaker figure. This pioneering poet was a student at Ackworth and Leighton Park schools, a conscientious objector, an enthusiastic attender at Meeting for Worship, and an all-round non-conformist. ‘Meditation in the Quaker Meeting House shaped his philosophy’,...

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‘What is truth?’ asked Wallingford Friends, and Moya stayed for their answers

12 Jan 2023 | by Moya

‘I think Light dawns gradually and I often wonder, in 100 years time, what truths will have become obvious?’ | Photo: Taras Chernus on unsplash

Once a month, Wallingford Friends hold Meeting for Learning after Sunday worship. On this occasion, as we all sat around on the eighteenth-century benches, drinking tea and eating flapjack pastries, the theme was ‘Truth’.

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Dreaming big: Alison Leonard on Shamanism

12 Jan 2023 | by Alison Leonard

‘Shamanic control is control of yourself, not control over other things.’ | Photo: courtesy of Earth Heart Shamanism Wales

One of the curious nuggets from the 2021 census is that the fastest growing religion is Shamanism. Numbers are small (650 people in 2011, up to 8,000 in 2021) but continued growth would bring about significant societal change. So what is Shamanism?

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Bench warming: Dana Smith on Exeter Quaker Social Café

12 Jan 2023 | by Dana Smith

'It helps us make sense of the story of our lives. For these few hours, we can slip into an easy sense of belonging.' | Photo: Gaelle Marcel on unsplash

We sit in the warmth, some knitting squares. For a peace blanket?  Refugees? Both? Posies made by our herbalist friend deck the tables with holy. A jigsaw is in progress while a woman, new to the group, brings fresh cinnamon buns, spicing the air. We are a mixed and...

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Friends offer Christmas witness

FREE 12 Jan 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

‘At our all-age Christmas celebration Meeting for Worship, we wrote cards to prisoners.' | Photo: Rugby Friends writing to prisoners of conscience

Friends used their Christmas spirit to practise some Quakerly witness and outreach as the year drew to a close.

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QSA reports funeral director price failings

FREE 12 Jan 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker Social Action (QSA) has reported over 200 funeral directors to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for failing to clearly display their prices. The action follows new legal requirements for funeral firms, which include displaying prices online and in branches. The new Funerals Market Investigation Order was introduced in September 2021...

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XR in New Year message: ‘We quit’

12 Jan 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Extinction Rebellion (XR), the climate movement that includes many Quakers, has announced that it is ‘to temporarily shift away from public disruption as a primary tactic’.

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Russian ceasefire was ‘space for peace’ say Quakers

12 Jan 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FoR) has said that the Russian-announced ceasefire in Ukraine last weekend to mark Orthodox Christmas was ‘an opportunity to create space for peace to flourish’.

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Plaques for overcoming homelessness

12 Jan 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Winchmore Hill Friends are raising awareness of a new initiative in north London to display plaques to people who have overcome homelessness.

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The amulet

12 Jan 2023 | by Karima Brooke

‘I have no desire to make windows         into men’s souls.’ The judge echoed the queen, conscious of irony and the risk of own goals. In her domain, rhetoric flows. ‘We’ll pray for him; tell us his name.’

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A Simple Faith in a Complicated World: One Quaker’s journey through doubt to faith, by Kate McNally

12 Jan 2023 | by Harvey Gillman

This book is an introduction to the Quaker way. Most of these are written by convinced Friends trying to make sense of this convincement. The usual dilemmas must be faced: the Quaker way is experiential, so each journey is personal and unique. The language used by Friends is tentative. The...

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The Atheist’s Guide to Quaker Process: Spirit-led decisions for the secular, by Selden W Smith

12 Jan 2023 | by David Boulton

Pendle Hill Quaker Center has a long tradition of publishing Quaker pamphlets that challenge, inform and inspire. This one, number 472, ticks all three boxes. Its target readership is the growing number of non-Quaker nontheists who are employed by Quaker organisations: the men and women recruited partly because there aren’t...

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Eye - 13 January 2023

12 Jan 2023 | by Elinor Smallman

Unearthing stories A visually-arresting snippet of an advert from 1898 was printed in these pages on 16 December (see above for the full ad). Eye was delighted to find out more about the story behind the elegant typography, when a missive from a Friend with family connections to the company shed light...

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Letters - 13 January 2023

12 Jan 2023 | by The Friend

Putin ‘Love to the loveless shown that they might lovely be.’ Would it be too childish to imagine what effect there might be if hundreds of us sent birthday and Christmas cards to Vladimir Putin, wishing him the gifts of the Spirit, love, joy and peace? Might he realise he...

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