Issue 01-01-2016

Featured story

Thought for the Week: The Museum of Procrastination

FREE 31 Dec 2015 | by Nick Tyldesley

I don’t usually take much notice of the adverts screened before a feature film – distracted no doubt by a tub of popcorn – but recently one caught my attention. It was for a high street bank and opened with a guide taking some tourists round ‘The Museum of Procrastination’.

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Top stories

Restoring Blue Idol

31 Dec 2015 | by Kim Hope

A close-up of part of Blue Idol Meeting House’s roof. | Photo: Courtesy of Kim Hope.

When Blue Idol Friends first discovered, back in 2012, that our ancient Meeting house had serious problems with the roof, we were all devastated. We had only just resolved to apply for planning permission to have a new kitchen, toilets and a large room for Children’s Meeting and for hiring...

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Are we still pagans?

31 Dec 2015 | by Anthony Boulton

'Pagan religions developed to give people a sense that they had some control over their lives in the world.' | Photo: SCA Deutschland / flickr CC.

I recall reading of a conversation between an anthropologist and a journalist concerning a primitive South American tribe that worshipped a stone idol as a god. ‘What does this god do?’ asked the journalist. The anthropologist shrugged and replied: ‘What does any god do – answers prayers, makes rules, lends muscle.’...

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Castle or community?

31 Dec 2015 | by George Thurley and Oliver Robertson

The whole group. | Photo: Photo courtesy of George Thurley.

As European Quakers, what is our vision for Europe? What needs to be changed? And how can we, as a continent-wide worshipping community, take action to translate our vision into reality? These were the questions considered by 110 Friends from twenty-three different countries gathered in Brussels at the start of December.

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Clinging to the wreckage

31 Dec 2015 | by Keith Wedmore

'Old age is a shipwreck'. | Photo: Joanna Poe / flickr CC.

Towards the end of 2015 The Spectator reviewed a book on the life of the great cricketer W G Grace (1848-1915). It described his last year as wanting: he ran to fat and was miserable. ‘Old age is a shipwreck’, it said. Indeed, the late John Mortimer entitled an autobiography Clinging...

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Old Man

31 Dec 2015 | by Chris Roe

'Life is sacred...' | Photo: mhagemann / flickr CC.

By your side There is peace, A quiet place Of beauty and realisation, Where wisdom Seeks reason and understanding, Where myth is laid to rest By the reality of knowledge.

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All articles

A long, long race

FREE 31 Dec 2015 | by Tara Craig

Social media campaigner Lucy-Anne Holmes, warden at Welwyn Garden City Meeting House, ran a popular workshop at the recent Quaker Activists Gathering at Friends House on her ‘No More Page 3’ campaign.

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A life in science

31 Dec 2015 | by Reg Naulty

The second volume of Richard Dawkins’ autobiography is entitled Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science and is more interesting than the first. As Dawkins has engaged in a herculean contest with religion, now, near the end of his life, one would expect his view of it to...

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How good can we be

31 Dec 2015 | by Don Atkinson

This book is a rant. But what a rant! It is unputdownable. This is extraordinary for a piece of non-fiction, much as was Will Hutton’s The State We’re In, written twenty years ago. How Good We Can Be: Ending the Mercenary Society and Building a Great Country reads...

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Eye - 01 January 2016

31 Dec 2015 | by Eye

Core values A new heritage orchard has been planted by students at Sibford School in Banbury. Fifteen trees, covering a number of apple varieties originating in Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties, are taking root at the edge of the school’s campus. The seed of the idea was planted by Bill...

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Letters - 01 January 2016

31 Dec 2015 | by The Friend

Syrian bombing Like Andrew Hughes Nind (11 December 2015) I, too, believe that there are situations in which the use of physical force is justified. I am, therefore, also not a pacifist in the sense of holding to the principle in all situations. I suspect that, if I had belonged to a...

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