Issue 20-11-2009

Featured story

Between two religions

20 Nov 2009 | by Helen Cadbury

Sixteen years ago, I found myself between religions. It was an odd state to be in. Having been brought up in the Society of Friends, I had visited several different churches in my teens and at the age of twenty I began a relationship that brought me into contact with...

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Top stories

Action on HIV and AIDS:  a Quaker Concern?

FREE 20 Nov 2009 | by John Whitley

In August 2007 the Friends World Committee for Consultation Advocacy Group on HIV & AIDS, established at the Dublin Triennial, issued an appeal to Friends worldwide ‘to be more actively involved, with a message of hope, in the fight against HIV & AIDS’.  Have any Quakers responded to this call...

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Integrity in politics: beams and ‘moats’

20 Nov 2009 | by Michael Bartlet

Lines. | Photo: evoo73/flickr CC:BY

While journalists attack MPs with righteous ferocity for exposing beams and digging out moats, the real beam in our national eye, the collapse of authority of parliament and its failure to check a growing inequality of wealth, gets rather less attention. Had this issue been given the oxygen of publicity...

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Pembrokeshire’s poppies

FREE 20 Nov 2009 | by John Whittaker

The white poppy appeal at the service. | Photo: Photo: Gareth Davies.

Members of Narberth Meeting, Pembrokeshire, were at first interested, and then inspired, by a letter in the Friend in October 2008. It told of Aberystwyth’s Peace and Justice Group’s planned service of remembrance at the local war memorial, followed by a ceremony to lay a wreath of white poppies....

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‘Quaker’: what does it mean to the outside world?

20 Nov 2009 | by Geoffrey Durham

Quaker Quest hopes that the survey results will help Friends with the puzzles about how to do outreach better. | Photo: Photo: kirtaph/flickr CC:BY.

I know all sorts of Quakers who know all sorts of things, but I’ve never met a single one who has a clue what the word ‘Quaker’ means to people who aren’t Quakers. I find it curious that we remain so ignorant. I hear stories every week of...

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A journey of transformation

20 Nov 2009 | by Elaine Pryce

God Sleeps in Rwanda: a journey of transformation by Joseph Sebarenzi with Laura Ann Mullane. Atria Books. ISBN: 978 141657 573 3. £18.99.  The European subjection and colonisation of Africa has left a brutal legacy. From the indefensible abuses of enslavement and apartheid to the wanton plundering of Africa’s rich resources, it is...

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Quakers seek government progress on drug use

20 Nov 2009 | by Joe Mugford

The ongoing situation following the sacking by the home secretary of professor David Nutt from his position on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, and the subsequent resignations by David Nutt’s colleagues, was discussed last weekend at the trustees’ meeting of Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs ...

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Norwegian Quakers denied Gaza access

20 Nov 2009 | by Friend web

Norwegian Friends last week returned disappointed from an attempt to make contact with the kindergartens and trauma counselling projects for children in Gaza that they fund. Kvekerhjelp (Quaker Service Norway)  representatives had originally planned to visit many of the fifteen or so kindergartens they run, and had made the...

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Compassion plaque unveiled at Ramallah Quaker meeting

20 Nov 2009 | by Joe Mugford

Ramallah Friends were among the first to endorse Karen Armstrong’s new Charter for Compassion. A Charter plaque was unveiled at their Meeting house on 12 November.  The charter is an attempt by religious writer and commentator Armstrong to bring together the highest common principles of the world’s faiths.,...

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Falling crime rates?

20 Nov 2009 | by Tom Jackson

Alan Russell questions why (13 November), with falling crime levels, is the fear of crime so widespread?  When considering crime statistics one is immediately confronted by two different methods used in establishing criminal activity: police records, the first method recording all crimes reported, and the British Crime Survey, representing the...

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Interfaith inspiration

20 Nov 2009 | by Robin Bennett

May we warmly thank Helen Rowlands for her superb report on the recent ‘Windsor Celebration of Faiths and the Environment’ (13 November)? It was good to know that Friends were part of that international gathering of faiths. Most attention will rightly be focused on the forthcoming Copenhagen summit and the conference...

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Letters - 20 November 2009

20 Nov 2009 | by Friend web

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Integrity in politics: a way forward?

20 Nov 2009 | by David Shutt

As parliamentarians returned to Westminster this autumn after their summer recess, many will have hoped to return to business as usual in the expectation that public outrage over the abuse of parliamentary expenses is behind them. This would be a dangerous mistake.  The expenses row was always about more...

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Is multicultural society in crisis?

20 Nov 2009 | by Daphne Stedman

Disturbances in some towns and cities; high levels of ethnic segregations between neighbourhoods; the threat from ‘home grown’ terrorists and an alienating government response; the emergence of an electorally successful far right are some challenges to be responded to. The ‘community cohesion’ agenda has been promoted to address these issues....

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Q-Eyewitness

20 Nov 2009 | by Friend web

Island Concern Jersey Quakers have reason to be concerned about climate change in the here and now. They’ve formed a Sustainability Group and had their first successful coffee morning fund-raiser. Rising sea levels and the vulnerability of islands speaks to their condition, and they are thinking of the Carteret...

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