Issue 29-09-2017

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Being a Quaker

FREE 28 Sep 2017 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

In 1947 the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian parliament awarded that year’s Peace Prize to ‘two great relief organizations, the Friends Service Council in London and the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia’.

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Top stories

Interview: Tracy Chevalier

28 Sep 2017 | by Tracy Chevalier and Jonathan Doering

Tracy Chevalier. | Photo: © Murdo MacLeod.

Tracy Chevalier has woven together life and writing through a dazzling string of novels, from the acclaimed Girl with a Pearl Earring to the Quaker-inspired The Last Runaway, which tells the story of an English Quaker, Honor Bright, who is gradually drawn into the Underground Railroad in the American state...

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Coming to Meeting

28 Sep 2017 | by Peter D Leeming

‘Quaker Meeting’ by sculptor Peter Peri. | Photo: © John Hall.

My association with the Religious Society of Friends dates back to my time in Leeds when a local group of enthusiastic Young Friends attracted other young people to its activities. A number of us eventually joined the Society and became active members. The reason why we remained was not simply...

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Interview: Modern slavery

28 Sep 2017 | by Kevin Bales and Ian Kirk-Smith

Bonded labour, India. | Photo: © Bharat Patel, courtesy of Anti-Slavery International.

How certain can we be, as Friends, that we are not supporting slavery? Sadly, we cannot be more sure than anyone else that we are not supporting slavery. And that is despite the fact that it was Friends who first invented the concept of conscious consuming and originated the first...

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The Quaker way

28 Sep 2017 | by Harvey Gillman

'I remain a Quaker because I am challenged by Quaker aspirations to live in the world what I sometimes find in my heart...' | Photo: ellenm1 / flickr CC.

A turning within myself and outwards towards others to encounter the divine; a form of communal worship and transacting business that enables both the individual and the group to listen directly to the divine in oneself and in each other without hierarchy, liturgy or creed; the challenge to see all...

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The Inner Light

FREE 28 Sep 2017 | by Tim Gee

'...I realise that if God is love, then the Spirit was present all along.' | Photo: Eric Wolf / flickr CC.

You probably know the proverb that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Growing up Quaker was rather like growing up in a very lovely village, albeit one dispersed across the country and, of course, linked across the world. As a teenager being Quaker was all about the annual...

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I’m a Quaker

FREE 28 Sep 2017 | by Abigail Rowse

I’m a Quaker because I know I can enter a Meeting for Worship or any other Quaker setting and know that I am accepted exactly as I am: a lesbian woman with dyspraxia and anxiety. I know that my close friend, an atheist, is just as welcome.

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Quaker peace-building in art

28 Sep 2017 | by Linda Murgatroyd

The seeds of the 2018 Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) calendar were sown a long time ago. For years I had heard about Quaker peace-building work, but I was very vague about quite what was involved. Reading about Adam Curle’s practical and academic work (he was the founding professor...

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Friends and animals

28 Sep 2017 | by Thom Bonneville

In the earliest days of the Society many Friends bore witness on behalf of animals. Many of those who followed them carried this concern forward through the centuries. While the majority of early Friends no doubt reflected the prejudices of their time when it came to animals, some examples of...

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The Darby family

28 Sep 2017 | by Gill West

Dale House in Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, was built between 1715 and 1717 for the English ironmaster Abraham Darby. Born into a Quaker family, he developed a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke rather than charcoal. This discovery ensured his legacy as one of the founders of the...

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A tablecloth and testimonies

28 Sep 2017 | by Rebecca Grove

Chichester Quakers marked the centenary of the start of the first world war in 2014 with a ‘Building Peace’ project. The thought behind this was to strengthen our awareness of the Peace Testimony and to use this idea as outreach. The aim was achieved through a series of different activities, including...

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28 Sep 2017 | by Alec Davison

I looked into his eyes and saw only emptiness infinite resignation: despair. I saw someone drowning in the ocean of hurting, rootless, flotsam, adrift homeless: without home. No belonging, no company someone beaten to nothingness. Empty eyes, empty heart.

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Images of Christ: Of shrouds, handkerchiefs and emeralds…

28 Sep 2017 | by Rowena Loverance

In her 2017 Reith Lectures historical novelist Hilary Mantel coined a memorable definition. ‘History,’ she said, ‘is what is left in the sieve after the centuries have poured through it.’ I thought of this as I mused on this month’s artwork, which is definitely the oddest of the twelve.

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From the archive: The Friends’ Ambulance Unit

28 Sep 2017 | by Janet Scott

The 21 September issue of the Friend in 1917 contained a special report on the work of the Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU). From November 1914, when about forty high-spirited young men set out on a great adventure that began with tending the wounded in a Dunkirk shed and carrying stretchers to ships, the...

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Discerning passion

28 Sep 2017 | by Roland Carn

Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering 2017 begins the first of its four themes ‘Heart’, ‘Head’, ‘Hands’ and ‘Feet’. George Lakey, the American Quaker activist and writer, introduces ‘Heart’. The master storyteller unfolds a tale of personal hesitancy and fear that leads on to family tragedy. I’m drawn in as he mirrors...

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