Issue 03-03-2023

Featured story

Thought for the week: Michelle Dumont gets the picture

FREE 2 Mar 2023 | by Michelle Dumont

Since the start of our Quaker movement, there have been Friends whose spiritual experience has been characterised by ‘seeing’. George Fox had visions. John Woolman and Samuel Fothergill had dreams. They spoke about them with other Friends, the imagery was shared, and it became part of the spiritual life of...

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Top stories

Quakers and mental health: Mike Wash, former trustee director at The Retreat, speaks his mind

2 Mar 2023 | by Mike Wash

'Treat any person in distress with respect and kindness.' | Photo: by Matthew Ball on Unsplash

In 1796, after a Yorkshire Friend named William Tuke made a financial appeal to British Friends, a new hospital was built in York to care for the mentally ill. Its creation came out of dissatisfaction with the mental health care of the time. The new Retreat Hospital’s practice of ‘moral...

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Sex symbols: Abigail Maxwell asks Friends to stand up for transgender people

2 Mar 2023 | by Abigail Maxwell

‘Decent people stand up for us.’ | Photo: by kyle-kx on Unsplash

In 2021, Yearly Meeting minuted, ‘We seek to provide places of worship and community that are welcoming and supportive to trans and non-binary people who want to be among us. Belonging is more than fitting in.’

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Quakers announce Nobel nominations

FREE 2 Mar 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Desmond Meade, FRRC (left) and Chris Kinyanjui, NCCK

Quaker organisations in Britain and the USA have nominated two coalitions for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. Both are commended for their work in building democracy.

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The garden

2 Mar 2023 | by Roger Iredale

'And why in any case was a talking snake wriggling through herbaceous borders when lions were lying down with lambs, eating grass and currants...' | Photo: by Mateusz Bajdak on Unsplash

Who they were, what they did, and which one was to blame is what the merry-go-round of sages pondered, dancing on the proverbial pin. And pondered also down the ages if the sin was ersatz or original, or even half and half, and if it started with a forked tongue

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Changing hearts, or habits? G Gordon Steel on the future of Meetings

2 Mar 2023 | by G Gordon Steel

‘How can our Meetings respond to these very real changes in modern life?’ | Photo: by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Declining membership and attendance at Quaker Meetings is a concern for us all. It is part of the general picture of religion in Britain. The proportion of people who classify themselves as Christian has fallen below fifty per cent (although it has been pointed out that people who do not...

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US Quakers witness as Vanguard drops climate alliance

FREE 2 Mar 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

US Quakers have criticised one of the biggest investors in fossil fuels for withdrawing from its most significant climate commitment.

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AFSC officer leaves after public allegations

2 Mar 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

A staff member accused of mischaracterising her heritage and lived experience will leave her post at American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

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BYM says no to UK’s new largest oil field

2 Mar 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has joined two hundred others in writing to the government urging it to reject Equinor’s plans to open the Rosebank oil field.The Norwegian firm wants to develop the largest undeveloped oil and gas field in the British North Sea, northwest of Shetland.

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Quaker Africa Interest Group engages with reparations

2 Mar 2023 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker Africa Interest Group (QAIG) gathered last month to discuss how it can support Britain Yearly Meeting’s work on reparations and addressing inequalities.

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Data: Clive Ashwin wants us to take our heads out of the cloud

2 Mar 2023 | by Clive Ashwin

My life operates along two tracks. One is material: I meet and talk to people in the street or at the Meeting house. I go into a shop and give the assistant something material, in the form of money, and the assistant gives me the item I request. Alternatively, much...

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Dining With Diplomats, Praying With Gunmen by Anne Bennett

2 Mar 2023 | by Ol Rappaport

This book arose from a conference held at Woodbrooke in 2019, at which experienced conciliators and younger peace activists came together. I was guided towards it by a Friend who shares my concern at the partisan approach of many British Friends to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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Eye - 3 March 2023

2 Mar 2023 | by Elinor Smallman

The golden age As seasonal shoots start to stretch towards the sun, Eye finds a spring in our step. An appreciation of nature has long been found among Friends. Eye recently took a dip into one fine example, in the pages of a book called The Golden Age of Quaker...

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Letters - 03 March 2023

2 Mar 2023 | by The Friend

Unpeeling an onion I would like to make a very affirmative response to Joanna Dales’ letter (10 February) in response to Abigail Maxwell (27 January). Discovering one’s ‘true self’ is like unpeeling an onion, but unlike onions, this is not finite, but a lifetime’s task. When I made the decision,...

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