Issue 02-10-2015

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Patterns and examples

FREE 1 Oct 2015 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

Visitors to a Quaker Meeting house are often struck by the simplicity and plainness of the interior. Many are not used to this in a place of worship. They look in vain for visual stimulus and storytelling. There are no images in stained glass, or carved in stone, or painted...

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Top stories

Jesus was a refugee

1 Oct 2015 | by Joan E Taylor

Flight into Egypt, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1899. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The unstoppable force of refugees fleeing to Europe has, in various places, hit the immovable object of an attitude that there is no room at the inn. Spaces are filled. Migrants should be kept out, in order to preserve jobs, health and welfare services. In an environment of austerity, where...

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The Quaker Tapestry

1 Oct 2015 | by Bridget Guest and Ian Kirk-Smith

Panel E8 of the Quaker Tapestry. | Photo: © Quaker Tapestry.

The Quaker Tapestry has just enjoyed a hugely successful visit to Lisburn in Northern Ireland. The embroidered panels – crafted by 4,000 men, women and children – are a stunning visual representation of 350 years of Quaker life and experience. They combine artistic expression with storytelling to produce a memorable celebration of Quakerism.

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The spirit of love

1 Oct 2015 | by Diana Francis and Ian Kirk-Smith

Diana Francis. | Photo: Anne van Staveren for Britain Yearly Meeting.

What was your background? My mother came from a vicar’s family in Wales. They belonged to the Church of Wales, the established church, and my father came from a working class family in Devon. He was a Congregationalist. Both became conscientious objectors in world war two. They were absolutely...

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The Way to the Kingdom

1 Oct 2015 | by Stuart Masters

Journey towards Wensleydale by Robert Spence. | Photo: © Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain.

George Fox (1624-1691) was perhaps the most important leader and organiser of the early Quaker movement. He wrote this tract in 1654 at a time when the early Quaker ministers known as the ‘Valiant Sixty’ were just beginning to unleash their vigorous preaching campaign all across England and beyond. It is...

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Meeting house gardens

1 Oct 2015 | by Trish Carn

Settle Meeting House garden. | Photo: John Asher.

‘I won’t go into details, but I want you to know that this garden has saved my life today.’ A stranger made this comment to Polly Tatum about twenty years ago as she was weeding,  near the bench where he was sitting, in the Friends House garden in...

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All articles


1 Oct 2015 | by Harvey Gillman

There is something archetypal about that cultivated enclosed space we call the garden, something profoundly ambiguous also. Eden was the place of encounter with God in the cool of the evening, but also of the snake urging the forbidden. Its layout, with angels with flaming swords at the entrance and...

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With a tender hand

1 Oct 2015 | by Marigold Bentley

My work, which spans a period of some thirty years, has been extremely varied. It has ranged from grassroots teaching in Egypt for the Coptic Church, a life-changing internship at the United Nations in New York in 1989 and 1990, peace education in Northern Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, and, during this...

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Being faithful

FREE 1 Oct 2015 | by Steve Whiting

I remember many years ago, when I first came to Quakers, Mary, a member of the Meeting, asked if I wanted to come on a CND protest. I said probably not. She asked why. I said that, although I, of course, wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons – actually all...

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Preparing the Way…

1 Oct 2015 | by Gretchen Castle

Yesterday I found myself moved to tears, joined by Olivia Hewitt, the conference coordinator, for the upcoming Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) World Plenary Meeting in Peru. She had just returned from Peru, planning with our Local Arrangements Committee clerk, Noe Alangia, who is even more prone to what...

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Exploring Quaker leadership

1 Oct 2015 | by Ellen Rignell

What is Quaker leadership? This was the question running through my mind when I applied for the Young Adult Leadership Programme (YALP) at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. The year-long course gives young adult Friends a chance to explore leadership in a Quaker context. It is made up of three...

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Love, tears and laughter

1 Oct 2015 | by Elinor Smallman

One of the largest gatherings of young Quakers in Britain took place at the end of August when two groups of Young Friends came together for Meeting for Worship in Oxford. Friends travelled to Oxford from Junior Gathering and Senior Conference, both week-long events organised by Friends Southern Summer Events ...

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Gleanings: Not a notion but a way

1 Oct 2015 | by Laurie Michaelis

In the 1990s I was on writing teams for several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This UN body carries out definitive assessments of climate change, its impacts and what can be done about it. I found it both challenging and highly rewarding being part of this...

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Painting with purpose

1 Oct 2015 | by Ann Johnson

Art benefits us in so many ways. It nourishes our spirits and provides sanctuary for our troubled souls. It encourages peaceful, joyful collaborations, cements communities and forges friendships within a framework of equality – one reason why it is targeted for destruction in war zones. On a personal basis, Quakerism has...

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