Issue 22-and-29-12-2017

Featured story

Thought for the Week: The Light

FREE 21 Dec 2017 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

The gospel of St John is concerned with the Divine Spirit becoming visible. This is why the theme of light is so important. It also gives an insight into where the divine can be found. John the Baptist says: ‘There standeth one among you, whom ye know not’, in other...

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Top stories

Interview: David Parlett

21 Dec 2017 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

David Parlett. | Photo: Dan Glimne.

Three subjects dominate the hundreds of books that line the shelves of David Parlett’s study in his South London house: games, language and theology. They reflect the concerns and interests that have dominated the life of a genial, courteous and kindly Friend, who is known and respected across the...

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Margaret Fell in Sweden

21 Dec 2017 | by Sue Glover Frykman

'Friends, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal light search you...' | Photo: Martin Sharman / flickr CC.

In Sweden little is known about Margaret Fell’s life, work and writings – in Quaker circles and beyond. Most of the early Friends that are spoken or written about are men. This term, at the Quaker Retreat Centre near Rimbo, Julia Ryberg and I were minded to offer a retreat...

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Interview: John Creed

21 Dec 2017 | by Jonathan Doering

Left: John Creed in his workshop. Right: Gates to the Usher Gallery, Lincoln. Forged steel, stainless steel and gold leaf. | Photo: Left: Alastair Devine. Right: Chris Goddard.

The artistic metalworker and sculptor John Creed has enjoyed a varied career in industry, education and the creative arts spanning more than five decades. An instinctive artist, his work seems to emerge from the hinterland between conceptual and practical, aesthetic and utilitarian, making his work particularly striking and tangible. Much...

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Visiting Rokel

21 Dec 2017 | by Dorothy Crowther

Scenes from Sierra Leone. | Photo: Courtesy of Dorothy Crowther.

Iwas hit by the humidity and heat. It was mid-June. Sweat was trickling down my face and my hair was wet. I noticed that the bag which contained my money, passport and visa had gone sticky and seemed to be melting. Once again, I was visiting Sierra Leone to view...

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Young Friends

FREE 21 Dec 2017 | by Catherine Henderson

From 'Refuge' by Anne Booth. Illustration © Sam Usher. | Photo: Used with permission of Nosy Crow.

Refuge Do you have favourite Christmas books that you get out each year? I have just found a new one to add to my collection. It’s called Refuge, and it’s the story of the nativity told from the point of view of the donkey. It’s the kind...

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All articles


FREE 21 Dec 2017 | by Harvey Gillman

They asked him: ‘What do you believe?’ He replied: ‘We are alive together on this fragile earth. What we do has meaning and consequences. We can fail and fall. We can love and nurture.’

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Love wins

21 Dec 2017 | by Kate McNally

Late last summer there were an estimated 600 forced migrants living in a park near the Gare du Nord in Brussels. They were mostly young men, but there were also young women and even some families. They were from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Cameroon – countries that are bleeding their young...

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Christmas with JAM On It

21 Dec 2017 | by Jamie Wrench

I’ve always been a bit of a misery guts about Christmas. It’s all so frenetic, so nervously celebratory, so… insincere. And this year, there’s an edge to it. Austerity is biting. Brexit is proving to be a shambles. Firms seem desperate to make a lot of money...

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21 Dec 2017 | by Chris Rose

Winter never seems to have properly arrived until we get some snow, and the years when we have snowless winters seem lacking in some way.

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Dare to trust

21 Dec 2017 | by Bernard Coote

Some two thousand million people round the world will celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways! Two millenia of telling the story, and no sign of a loss of interest. It’s a phenomenon of human history.

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Blessings abounding

21 Dec 2017 | by Alec Davison

You are blessed when your spirit can endure no more: you have only God’s hands to sustain you. You are blessed when you grieve for what is most dear to you: only then are you ready for the comfort of God.

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21 Dec 2017 | by Peter Blaker

Somehow my life dropped me into a shop doorway, the reek of stale urine, the sting of cold concrete. Wrapped up in my quilt of shredded green nylon, an old woollen blanket, a damp square of cardboard, I sat and waited for the day to die slowly, with a cup...

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Silent night

21 Dec 2017 | by Roy Wilcock

Silent night, children take flight Run for their lives on a starlit night Leave the home they were born and bred Uncharted highways of hope lie ahead To escape from the bombs and the gunfire Fleeing the fear and the dread.

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Meeting houses and cafes

21 Dec 2017 | by Andrew Backhouse

Reading an article in the Friend about how we can be more welcoming stirred me to look around a bit more. At my own Meeting in Wilmslow we just about represent the local community, which is mostly white and middle class – though without many younger folk at Meeting.

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How to resolve a conflict

21 Dec 2017 | by John Lampen

Friends in the twentieth century have made a considerable contribution to the art and science of conflict transformation. This came partly from the involvement of Friends like Philip Noel-Baker, Corder Catchpool, Sydney Bailey and Adam Curle in international peacemaking; partly from Quaker participation in the growth of academic peace studies;...

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Quaker crossword

21 Dec 2017 | by David and Rosemary Brown

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From the archive: Publishers of Truth

21 Dec 2017 | by Janet Scott

In December 1917 Meeting for Sufferings made a momentous decision, which would in 1918 culminate in a trial at the time of Yearly Meeting affecting the Meeting’s procedures and, more importantly, resulting in the imprisonment of three Friends. The decision was to print peace materials without sending them to the censor....

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