Issue 01-05-2015

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Be the message

FREE 30 Apr 2015 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

‘Living out our faith in the world’ is the theme of this year’s Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM). It follows three years in which BYM addressed the question: ‘What it means to be a Quaker today’. The themes represent two sides of the same coin. It is impossible to imagine...

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Top stories

The housing crisis: putting faith into action

30 Apr 2015 | by Dorothy Hamilton

‘It is always a joy to see an applicant’s face light up…’ | Photo: Joey / flickr CC.

Winchester Meeting is housed in a large, late-eighteenth-century building, set in a beautiful garden, close to the historic city centre. Its upper two floors are occupied by a warden’s flat and seven rooms, which are let to residents who have housing needs. In fact, the house was purchased, in 1973,...

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Where to for religion?

30 Apr 2015 | by Gillian Metheringham

Richard Dawkins is well known for doing battle with religion in general, and with what he calls the ‘interventionist, miracle-wreaking, thought-reading, sin-punishing, prayer-answering God of the Bible’ in particular (The God Delusion). It is perhaps no surprise that the ranks of those supporting him have swelled recently as the toll...

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Quakers and the European Union: the future

30 Apr 2015 | by Oliver Robertson

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union (EU) in 2012 was widely mocked in Britain. Yet its achievements have been among the most impressive of all Nobel laureates: building a sustainable and enduring peace across a continent that had, for centuries previously, been one of the bloodiest...

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Bearing the keys

30 Apr 2015 | by Harvey Gillman

'New keys...' | Photo: Zylenia / flickr CC.

In March I visited the Jewish Museum in Seville: just three rooms, lots of text and a few well-displayed artefacts; among the latter, in a box by itself, was an ornate key. After a century of persecution, the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. It is said that many of...

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Space for the Spirit?

30 Apr 2015 | by Paul Parker and Helen Drewery

For Yearly Meeting 2015 we have been given the gift of space: the precious temporal space of three days to spend in Meeting for Worship together, in prayerful listening for the will of God for our community; the spiritual space of an uncrowded agenda, with room to discern what is required...

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Mansfield trail celebrates Quaker links

FREE 30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

A new Quaker heritage trail was launched on Saturday 25 April in Mansfield. The trail includes a number of local sites of significance to Quakers. Among them are almshouses, whose first residents included Friends, and the site of George Fox’s home when he was an apprentice shoemaker. Although originally from...

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New charge challenged

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

QARN, the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network, is calling on Friends to help it challenge the government over new charges for renewing discretionary leave to remain status for asylum seekers.

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BYM overflow room introduced

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

Sessions at Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) will this year be relayed via an audiovisual link to an overflow room in Friends House. The initiative is one of a number that have been introduced as Yearly Meeting meets for the first time in the newly refurbished Large Meeting House. It is...

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Plight of migrants raised

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

Paul Parker, recording clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting, has written to the prime minister to express Quakers’ concern at the plight of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.

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Young people explore life’s challenges

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

The problems of identity and stereotyping were among those addressed at a Quaker event in Huddersfield on 19 April when forty young people met to share and discuss the issues they face today. The event, ‘Young people, peace and community’, was organised by the Northern Friends Peace Board (NFPB) as part...

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‘Paying for Society’ hustings draws large audience to Friends House

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

Britain Yearly Meeting’s second hustings attracted more than 200 people. It took place in the Large Meeting House on Tuesday 21 April. All five main parties were represented. They faced questions about homeless provision, the rise in income inequality and whether they would repeal the Health & Social Care Act.

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Gloucestershire Quakers in dialogue with candidates

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

A survey sent out by Friends to general election candidates across Gloucestershire elicited some unexpected responses. Candidates from four of the five political parties running for election in the county refused to reject out of hand the possibility of a link between the UK’s investment in armaments and current...

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Book of mental health experiences to launch at Yearly Meeting

30 Apr 2015 | by Tara Craig

The Quaker Life Network’s newly published Encounters with mental distress: Quaker stories will be launched on Saturday 2 May at Yearly Meeting.

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Tax justice

30 Apr 2015 | by Richard Murphy

The subject of tax justice is receiving a lot of attention at the moment within Quakerism and the wider society. However, some recent correspondence on the subject, which I have read with interest and disappointment, reveals a common misapprehension. This misapprehension suggests that any company is entitled to use any...

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Worship God, don’t use God

30 Apr 2015 | by Peter Speirs

‘Worship God, don’t just use God’ was just one of the messages given by Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, during a two-day seminar on ‘Mediation Capacity Building’ held at Bradford University in February. His public lecture was attended by about 200 people, including...

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The Book of Discipline

30 Apr 2015 | by Rhiannon Grant

Before any revision of the Book of Discipline can take place – before the Yearly Meeting can even decide whether or not any such revision should take place – there needs to be a period of preparation. In order to make sure that this preparation happens, Meeting for Sufferings last year appointed...

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Gleanings: The holy mountain

30 Apr 2015 | by Laurie Michaelis

Some years ago I spent three summer days with a group of Young Friends at Pardshaw in the Lake District, exploring their witness to ‘that of God in all creation’. In the mornings they generously shared with me – a less-young Friend – their values, visions and ideas for action for a...

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Promises and plain speaking

30 Apr 2015 | by Roland Carn

The Friend recently reported statements made by some candidates who are taking part in the forthcoming general election (10 April). They included the following comments from six candidates representing five parties: ‘…safeguarding the NHS, highlighting rural poverty and low wages and safeguarding the environment.’ ‘…[stop] fracking, moving UK’s foreign policy ...

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Eye - 01 May 2015

30 Apr 2015 | by Eye

The love of letters ‘What an excellent method the Quakers have found To keep the Society healthy and sound. There’s a column reserved in the Friend magazine Where the views of the various readers are seen. If they have a concern or embrace a belief, They can write it...

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Letters - 1 May 2015

30 Apr 2015 | by The Friend

Which way to vote? Are you still undecided which way to vote at the general election? Or, if you think you know which party to support, how sure are you that its policies really are the nearest to what you believe? Then visit voteforpolicies.org.uk and encourage others to...

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