Issue 27-03-2020

Featured story

Dealing in shares: Joseph Jones on the Friend in the pandemic

FREE 26 Mar 2020 | by Joseph Jones

What a week. As I write, it was seven days ago that we were contacted by staff at Friends House asking about our contingency plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The following day they shut the building. By then, most of our team at the Friend were already at...

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Top stories

‘It’s more about a mindset than knowledge – it’s a willingness to experiment.’

26 Mar 2020 | by Jon Martin

‘Quakers, who call all things sacred, and need no time, place or ritual to worship, should thrive in a digital world.’ | Photo: Tianyi Ma / Unsplash.

For three years I worked for Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) doing all manner of things – but it could mostly be boiled down to one concept: making Quakers more digital. I worked with others to improve our online presence, including creating podcasts and training Quakers on social media. I was part...

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‘It is not the same as coming to a Meeting house, but it doesn’t need to feel the same.’

26 Mar 2020 | by Maud Grainger

‘Try not to get distracted if technology doesn’t play, and sink down to the seed whether it all works or not.’ | Photo: Original: Andrew Neel / Unsplash.

Usually a Sunday morning is not very quiet. When my children leave Meeting for Worship for Children’s Meeting, I follow them, as they are not ready to do this by themselves. I have longed for stillness. But I still found myself rather cynical about participating in online worship. Brexit...

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‘The nature of a gathered Meeting will not be limited by walls.’

26 Mar 2020 | by Jamie Wrench

'My thoughts turn to Friends in my Meeting who might be worshipping with me.' | Photo: mahdi rezaei / Unsplash.

We took the decision on Friday. In common with many other Meetings, we have a large proportion of elderly members, some with frail partners more vulnerable than themselves, all at risk. Some had already decided to self-isolate, and were feeling guilty about what they saw as being selfish or letting...

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‘Many of us are stepping back, taking a look at how we are living.’

FREE 26 Mar 2020 | by Daniel Clarke Flynn

'...this virus without borders is a wake-up call for all to enact the universal human values of equality and simplicity that will help us survive.’ | Photo: nito100 /

The unprecedented virus without borders, COVID-19, is causing worldwide damage, leaving consequences for years to come for us and for our descendants. But from the ashes of this global catastrophe are already arising some positive changes.

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26 Mar 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'I asked anxiety to dig one hole.' | Photo: Nikola Jovanovic / Unsplash.

I asked anxiety to dig one hole. It went to work, until the green sward of my garden was upturned: a mole field runnelled with mud, gorged and pitted.

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All articles

Quaker work continues amid coronavirus

FREE 26 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker headquarters in London, Friends House, closed last week, as Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) updated its advice and recommended Quakers ‘not to gather in person while the current social distancing guidance is in force’. Swarthmoor Hall closed, as did Woodbrooke, which has suspended its courses until June. Quaker Barbara...

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Friend with COVID-19

26 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

A Huddersfield Meeting attender has passed away after suffering in intensive care with COVID-19.

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Quaker book on conciliation work

26 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

A new book was launched at Friends House this month, shining light on the experiences of international conciliators to inspire a new generation of peacemakers.

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Nonagenarian Friend talks on lifetime of activism

26 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Ninety-two-year-old Friend and multiple arrestee John Lynes spoke in The Guardian this month about his lifetime of protest.

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University vice-chancellor hits back against protesters

26 Mar 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The vice-chancellor of the University of Huddersfield has hit back at protesters saying that ‘criticising from the sidelines’ is less likely to bring the positive reform that Bahrain and the international community needs.

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‘This was a valuable opportunity to find out more, and discern whether I feel called to this task.’

26 Mar 2020 | by Becky Shepherd

Thirty Quaker prison chaplains (and me – a prospective chaplain) gathered at Woodbrooke last October for the annual Quaker prison chaplains (QPC) conference. The theme was ‘Drugs in prison – supporting recovery and resilience’. I have worked for a long time in criminal justice but am new to chaplaincy, so this was...

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Letters - 27 March 2020

26 Mar 2020 | by The Friend

Work together In these challenging and extraordinary times we are tempted to look back to the horrors of the past, and a Friend (20 March) reminded us of the many plague victims buried in Bunhill Fields. However, our son, who worked for over twenty years at the wonderful Wellcome Collection medical...

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