Issue 02-12-2016

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Gifts

FREE 1 Dec 2016 | by Angela Arnold

Some years ago I read that the thing to do with pain was to give it as a gift to God. Dear heavens, I thought, what kind of a ‘gift’ is that? The author clearly didn’t mean that you could rid yourself of your pain by giving it away....

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Top stories


1 Dec 2016 | by Patricia Gosling

'Waiting time is not empty time...' | Photo: Wendell / flickr CC.

Waiting time is not empty time. Waiting is not ‘doing nothing’. As we await the birth of a baby we are assailed by a compound of feelings: delight, hope, apprehension, fear, and the knowledge that life is about to change and will never be quite the same again. We have...

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The truth about Trident

1 Dec 2016 | by Frank Boulton

Royal Navy submarine HMS Victorious departs HMNB Clyde. | Photo: fwbin/download.dll/45153802.jpg

In December 2006 Tony Blair’s government published The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent. It was clear to a bitterly disappointed anti-nuclear movement that a decision to replace Trident had already been taken. The only question was: when? The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government was coy on the timing;...

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A sharing economy

1 Dec 2016 | by Juliet Solomon

It is now generally agreed, with a few exceptions, that the model of the economy to which we have subscribed in the last twenty years, the market capitalist model, can only deliver in fits and starts and that its benefits, which are principally material, are only available to a diminishing...

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What Jesus really said

1 Dec 2016 | by Noël Staples

In his new book The Upside-Down Bible: What Jesus really said about money, sex and violence, Symon Hill admits that he and, indeed, all of us are biased! His perspective is that of an associate of the socialist Christian thinktank Ekklesia, a broadcaster, journalist (formerly with the Friend), Christian activist...

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Waging peace

1 Dec 2016 | by Daniel Flynn

Born in 1940, one year after myself, the Quaker, activist and writer David Hartsough has participated in the most significant protests for peace, justice and equality of my lifetime: protests against military armaments destined to kill millions of civilians, against racial bigotry tearing our society apart, and against dangerous nuclear power...

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MP to give 2017 Swarthmore Lecture

FREE 1 Dec 2016 | by The Friends Newsdesk

The 2017 Swarthmore Lecture is to be given by Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green. The lecture will focus on addressing inequality, tackling poverty and promoting social justice. It will examine how change can be effected through politics – both participatory and representative – while ‘living out our faith in the...

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Leaveners hit by funding withdrawal

FREE 1 Dec 2016 | by Tara Craig

The main funder of the Leaveners, the Birmingham-based Quaker arts organisation, has withdrawn its sponsorship. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) has provided core funding for staffing and overheads for thirty years. A change in JRCT’s funding priorities means that Leaveners no longer meet their remit.

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Army increases recruitment of minors

1 Dec 2016 | by The Friends Newsdesk

New figures show that twenty-four per cent of British army recruits are child soldiers. The Ministry of Defence has just released the UK Armed Forces Biannual Statistics for 2016. They reveal that the proportion of the army’s non-officer rank intake aged under-eighteen increased from 22.2 per cent to 24.2 per cent.

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Restorative justice theme for 2017 QCJ conference

1 Dec 2016 | by The Friend Newsdesk

The Quakers in Criminal Justice (QCJ) group will consider the theme ‘New ways of doing justice and promoting harmony’ during their 2017 conference at Woodbrooke from 24 to 26 February.

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Friends join other faiths in low carbon talks

1 Dec 2016 | by Tara Craig

Nearly eighty members of Birmingham faith communities, including local Quakers, recently took part in ‘Tread Lightly on this Earth’, where they discussed practical steps towards a low carbon future.

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Barter, not buy, say Texan Friends

1 Dec 2016 | by Tara Craig

Members of Live Oak Meeting in Houston, Texas, marked ‘Buy Nothing Day’ on 25 November with a Quaker Barter Fair.

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JRF concern over ‘autumn statement’

1 Dec 2016 | by The Friends Newsdesk

The immediate future for people on below-average incomes is bleak, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

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Quaker renewal: The testimony of a transformed life

1 Dec 2016 | by Craig Barnett

One of the most important of the original Quaker insights is that our testimony is what we do. It is not what we say we believe or what we claim to value that matters, but what we say with our life. Our testimony is all of our actions – a whole...

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Winter walking

1 Dec 2016 | by Rosie Adamson-Clark

Walking in solitude, Heartbeat heavy, pulse, The steady rustle of wind In the sorrowful trees Bent to the growing Demands of the elements.

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Eye - 02 December 2016

1 Dec 2016 | by Eye

Parties in Peterborough Peterborough Meeting marked its eightieth anniversary with an array of community activities over the weekend of 8-9 October. Local Friend Jo Weedon gave Eye a flavour of the celebrations: ‘We had a fine ceilidh on Saturday night, followed by Apple Day on Sunday, which started with an...

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Letters - 02 December 2016

1 Dec 2016 | by The Friend

The case for fuzziness John Lampen suggests that there is sometimes a case to be made for fuzziness in setting objectives (4 November). Many organisations are obsessed with the setting of SMART (specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, timetabled) objectives. This often leads to a bureaucratic tick box mentality that can result...

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