Issue 24-02-2023

Featured story

Thought for the week: Gillie Bolton mends her ways

FREE 23 Feb 2023 | by Gillie Bolton

Gerard Manley Hopkins glories in the muddle that is the natural world. But the imperfections of people and nature can be far from endearing or beautiful: Ukrainians suffer the horrors of war; Syrians endure devastating earthquakes, bringing down homes with loved ones inside. We ourselves survive sickness, abuse, accidents, bereavements,...

Read more

Top stories

A process of creativity, hospitality and courtesy? Peter Bevan investigates ‘Implicit Religion’

23 Feb 2023 | by Peter Bevan

‘We are all each others’ interpreters – a process requiring trust and rootedness.’ | Photo: by Andrei Panfiloiu on Unsplash

In Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton identifies two sets of human needs that secular society has not been able to solve with any particular skill. The first of these is the need to live together in communities, despite our deeply-rooted selfish and violent impulses. The second is the need...

Read more


23 Feb 2023 | by Harvey Gillman

'Open your eyes to the splendour of small things.' | Photo: by Natalya Letunovaon Unsplash

A poetic meditation inspired by Isaac Pennington Submit to the light, they said. Open your eyes to its glory. It will show, purge, strengthen you; direct your feet. My friend, give over your willing, give over your desiring, sink to the seed, which God sows in your heart. It will...

Read more

Talent contest: Wendy Pattinson interprets a parable

23 Feb 2023 | by Wendy Pattinson

'In ancient Mediterranean culture, seeking to gain more was seen as morally wrong because it meant that others got less.' | Photo: Parable of the Talents, by Annette Gandy Fortt (1987)

When I first encountered the Parable of the Talents, I was troubled by its apparent message, advocating capitalism. On delving deeper I realised my error, an error that’s deeply ingrained in our culture.

Read more

British and African Quakers urge ‘no’ to East African pipeline

FREE 23 Feb 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

| Photo: ‘Stop EACOP’ activists (@KathrinAnna)

Quakers from Britain and Africa are calling on Lloyd’s of London to advise its members against insuring the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Read more

All articles

Anniversary of war in Ukraine

FREE 23 Feb 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers are coming together to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With vigils and witness planned across the county, Friends are gathering to uphold all those suffering from the war since it started on 24 February 2022.

Read more

Loving Earth artwork goes to Westminster

23 Feb 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker-initiated Loving Earth textile artwork project arrived in Westminster last week, in a bid to inspire parliamentarians about the pressing need for climate action.

Read more

Friends prepare for DSEI 2023

23 Feb 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

As Friends began gathering to discuss their campaigns against the Defence Security Equipment and International (DSEI) arms fair in autumn, the group Quaker Roots has highlighted news that British arms companies are reportedly planning to sell weapons in Ukraine. According to the Telegraph, chief executives are said to be meeting...

Read more

Royal Opera House ends BP sponsorship

23 Feb 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Friends welcomed the news that, after thirty-three years, the Royal Opera House (ROH) has ended its sponsorship by the oil and gas giant BP. Campaigners hailed it as a ‘seismic shift’ after a ROH representative admitted that it is ‘no longer in receipt of BP money’ in answer to an...

Read more

All systems go? Christine Downes-Grainger calls for a sensitive simplification

23 Feb 2023 | by Christine Downes-Grainger

At North East Thames Area Meeting, we have a group charged with considering how we might simplify our Area Meeting. We recently set up a Zoom call between members of the group and us elders, and prepared for it by reflecting on the following: ‘Being a Quaker is deeply rooted...

Read more

Out of service: Bob Ward is past the peak

23 Feb 2023 | by Bob Ward

For a long while, a valued activity in our Meeting has involved some Friends getting together once a month before Sunday Worship. We enjoy a simple breakfast, followed by discussion of a shared text. During the pandemic, of course, we’ve had to make do with encounters on Zoom, wielding...

Read more

The Prison Psychiatrist’s Wife, by Sue Johnson

23 Feb 2023 | by Tim Newell

This is a beautifully-written account of the experience of working creatively in a top security setting. It is a strongly-felt account, by our friend Sue Johnson, of what it was like to be alongside her ground-breaking psychiatrist husband Bob Johnson as they put original ideas of creativity, compassion, and challenge...

Read more

Eye - 24 February 2023

23 Feb 2023 | by Elinor Smallman

‘What gets young people out of the woodwork?’f This question was posed by Andrew Backhouse of Wilmslow Meeting, in a recent missive to Eye. He wrote: ‘Like many Area Meetings, we sometimes wonder how many children and young people there are – and if, indeed, there are any. ‘I’ve...

Read more

Letters - 24 February 2023

23 Feb 2023 | by The Friend

Dancing with the world We live in a world of diversity. Variation is all round us in our communities, environment and relationships. How do we bring harmony into our ever-changing world? Quakers in Yorkshire will be exploring some of the many different steps through life and into the future. The...

Read more