Issue 06-03-2020

Featured story

‘We need to be open to having the habits and traditions in which we feel secure challenged.’

FREE 5 Mar 2020 | by Chris Lawson

‘He’s a troublemaker.’ That’s my opening line in the Lewes Passion Play. I’m cast as a Scribe making accusations about Jesus to the Chief Priest. I want to add ‘definitively, still is, and should be for us’, but it’s not in the script, even if I...

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‘To apply discipleship to political life, we have to think systemically.’

5 Mar 2020 | by Johan Maurer

‘We need to do the work of building ideas and visions.’ | Photo: Randy Colas / Unsplash.

Not long ago, I was one of several Americans talking with a sixteen-year-old Palestinian from Gaza. As she answered our questions about her family’s experiences living inside that locked-down territory, she said something I’d never heard from a teenager anywhere: ‘How can we not talk politics? Our life...

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‘We’re writers; we needed to write.’

5 Mar 2020 | by Philip Gross

‘I’m not suggesting that collaboration in the arts and worship are the same thing, but each offers a clue to the other.’ | Photo: / Feodora Chiosea.

It is hard to say this without sounding pretentious or mystical, but we seemed to be hearing voices. Two poets with thirty years of writing experience each, Lesley Saunders and I had all the craft it takes to say what we meant with our poetry, but this was something different....

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‘Other practices, while not being quite so anachronistic, might well deserve reviewing.’

5 Mar 2020 | by Peter Jarman

‘Let us use the language of the twenty-first rather than the seventeenth century.’ | Photo: Jason Leung / Unsplash.

We Friends appear to cherish anachronisms like ‘Meeting for Worship’, ‘elders’ and ‘overseers’, and ‘Meeting for Sufferings’. This does not do our public image much good. I suggest some revisions.

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‘There are alternatives but they need planning.’

5 Mar 2020 | by Michael Yates

'There are alternatives, but they need planning and family members need to be involved.' | Photo: Mayron Oliveira / Unsplash.

My wife and I are approaching a collective 160 years – halfway between our respective eightieth birthdays. This certainly concentrates our minds on a whole range of end-of-life issues! Questions arise about what arrangements are appropriate for Friends. The ‘Funeral Wishes’ form may be useful for some but does not address the...

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‘Wales, Peter said, is invisible. Quakers don’t see Wales.’

5 Mar 2020 | by David Harries

'Wales is a global leader in bilingual culture, is politically progressive, and is confident in its achievements.' | Photo: Alex Liivet / flickr CC.

What happens when thirty-five or so Friends from Wales and neighbouring counties get together, for the three-times-a-year Meeting of Friends in Wales (MFW)? Fellowship, mutual aid and discernment. (Mutual aid has to do with cooperation across our Area Meetings, work on a new website to cater for our needs, and...

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‘Worship does not require special techniques or great natural ability…’

5 Mar 2020 | by Craig Barnett

Worship is a movement of our whole being towards a spiritual reality that is ultimately mysterious, but that we can know by experience. Quakers name this reality as God, Spirit, Light, or in a range of other ways. In the practice of Quaker worship, we meet together to turn our...

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Teach crisis in school, activists tell MPs

FREE 5 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has joined education charities, unions and environmental NGOs in signing up to ‘Teach the Future’, a youth-led campaign to put the climate crisis at the heart of the education system. As fifty youth climate strikers took the message to MPs on 26 February at a parliamentary campaign...

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DSEI activist’s charges withdrawn amid questions over arrest

5 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has said that the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service face ‘urgent questions’ after the last-minute withdrawal of charges against a pacifist activist, five months after proceedings began.

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Call for church action on poverty

5 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers were among nearly 500 church leaders and elders who have called for UK churches to ensure that ‘the deepening crisis of UK poverty is at the centre of national attention’. Nine Friends from Selly Oak, Newcastle, Sittingbourne, Inverness, Beeston, Dorchester and Stocksfield Local Meetings signed the open letter calling on...

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JRF’s first photography exhibition launched

FREE 5 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has launched its first public photography exhibition showing people living on the breadline in Britain. Picture Britain: Our People, Our Poverty, which opened in Borough Market in London on 20 February, features twenty portraits by award-winning photographer Jillian Edelstein after she asked participants: ‘What is the...

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Letters - 6 March 2020

5 Mar 2020 | by The Friend

Quakers and Europe It was good to read the account of the work of Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) within the report of Meeting for Sufferings held on 1 February (7 February). My experience of QCEA’s Study Tour in March 2019 left me deeply thankful for this organisation, which seeks to...

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