Issue 12-02-2010

Featured story

Same-sex marriage

FREE 12 Feb 2010 | by Sylvia Hilken

Yearly Meeting last year at York took a significant step forward in committing to achieving equality for same-sex couples wanting to tie the knot in a Quaker Meeting. I was not present myself, but listening to Friends, I have no doubt that the process was both deeply moving and sensitively...

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Top stories

Work in the world - Gaza convoy diary

12 Feb 2010 | by Monica Jones

A local youth band plays as the vehicles are loaded on the ferry in Lataikia, Syria. | Photo: Photo: Monica Jones.

Sunday 6th December 2009 Ambulances and vans from all over the UK have gathered today in London, all driven by people determined to ease the suffering caused by the siege of Gaza. George Galloway arrives and says words of encouragement. We’re warned that convoy leaders will watch for dangerous driving...

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BAE Systems:  let off the hook?

FREE 12 Feb 2010 | by Symon Hill

‘Let’s sweep it under the carpet.’ at the BAE Systems AGM. | Photo: Photo courtesy CAAT.

The decision of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to drop its pursuit of the arms giant BAE Systems has outraged campaigners. The SFO reached a deal to accept £30 million from BAE and an admission of criminal guilt in relation to accounting irregularities.  The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and...

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Dancing with the Spirit

12 Feb 2010 | by Rowena Loverance

Zélie and Philip Gross

‘Now, let’s have a barn dance!’ Not, you might think, the most obvious opening for outreach, but this was the line which Philip Gross credits with starting him on the road to Friends. It was his first time in a Meeting house, sometime in the early 1970s, at the...

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‘Bequeathed to one another’ from Belfast to Hillsborough via St Andrews

12 Feb 2010 | by Janet Quilley

Was it an accident or a fine sense of timing that Channel 4 scheduled its documentary-drama ‘Mo’ for the same week that was to see the signing of an agreement at Hillsborough, after ten days of nail-biting tension? ‘Here we go again!’ was a natural reaction on this side of the...

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Eyewitness - Linda Murgatroyd wins The Friends Quarterly essay competition

12 Feb 2010 | by Tony Stoller

Linda Murgatroyd

The prize essay competition, run by our sister paper, The Friends Quarterly (FQ) and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, has set Friends buzzing for months. Even so, the total of 106 entries greatly exceeded expectations, and gave the judges a difficult task. We now know the winners, and what...

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All articles

Government arms strategy queried by Quakers

12 Feb 2010 | by Symon Hill

Quakers have accused government ministers of ignoring the most important questions in their recent review of ‘defence’ priorities. The government have announced plans for restructuring military spending, but campaigners and faith groups say that they have missed the point.  Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, published a Green Paper – a...

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Radicalism of Diggers and Levellers not dead in Scotland

12 Feb 2010 | by Symon Hill

Theology has played an important part in securing social justice in Scotland, according to new research by the Quaker writer Alastair McIntosh.  Alastair, along with fellow researcher Rutger Henneman, found that religious factors had played a major part in the run-up to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act in 2003. They...

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Chavakali Yearly Meeting denies gay member’s treatment claims

12 Feb 2010 | by Symon Hill

Kenyan Friends’ approach to sexuality has come under the international spotlight, following the case of Noah Kellum, a gay Kenyan Quaker and former pastor. Noah says that he was forced out of his post after coming out as gay, but the Yearly Meeting involved is disputing the accuracy of his...

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The language of the Bible and its use

12 Feb 2010 | by Eva Pinthus

All religious language is metaphor and symbolism. The Bible is a collection of stories originally orally transmitted over some 2,000 years. They tell of diverse experiences of many Semitic tribes living in what we now call loosely the Middle East. The Bible is neither a history nor a scientific book, though...

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Speaking truth about the Bible?

12 Feb 2010 | by Nick Bagnall

Prompted by the two articles on the Bible, I have two suggestions to make to Friends.  I was brought up to believe that the Bible was the word of God. However, I have now come to realize that it is no more than a collection of human writings, which...

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Don’t let arms traders off the hook

12 Feb 2010 | by Symon Hill

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped their corruption investigations into the arms company BAE Systems in return for an admission of guilt over ‘accounting irregularities’ and a payout of over £30 million. Given the millions that they rake in each year, this is roughly the equivalent of the Inland Revenue...

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Letters - 12 February 2010

12 Feb 2010 | by Friend web

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The Water Table

12 Feb 2010 | by Peter Bennet

The Water Table by Philip Gross. Bloodaxe Books. ISBN: 1 85224 852 1. £8.95.  Philip Gross has had a distinguished career as a writer and teacher while managing to avoid becoming a household name. He has written fiction, children’s opera, radio plays, horror and science fiction as well as poetry. The Water Table,...

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