Issue 15-05-2020

Featured story

‘Suffering is always personal’

FREE 14 May 2020 | by Joseph Jones

This crisis has turned us all into statisticians. To watch the government briefings, or to read any news report on the pandemic, is to be subject to a profusion of figures and graphs. Numbers of tests. Numbers of contracted cases. Numbers of ventilators, hospital beds or personal protective equipment. Amounts...

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Top stories

‘We can only do what we can do.’

14 May 2020 | by Judith Moran

‘Bereavement can be crushing at any time, but hearing the pain experienced by people unable to attend a loved one’s funeral has been very difficult.’ | Photo: engin akyurt / Unsplash.

A decade ago I wrote in the Friend about the launch of a brand new project from Quaker Social Action (QSA): Down to Earth. I explained that its purpose was to help people on low incomes get an affordable and meaningful funeral. I used a quote from Thomas Lynch, which...

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George’s journey

14 May 2020 | by Marcela Teran and Tim Gee

George Fox. | Photo: Illustration by Marcela Teran.

This is a story about George Fox, Who wore a broad-brimmed hat And long white socks. He set out on a journey, A long and lonely search, For the source of truth and peace He couldn’t find in church. He went to talk with priests, But was unmoved by...

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‘Can they help us to nurture our sense of making the best of what we have?’

14 May 2020 | by Kate Macdonald

‘Wilfrid’s sense of being guided spiritually underpinned his humour and optimism.' | Photo: Courtesy of Kate Macdonald.

Today, much of the world’s population is finding out what it is like to live in isolation – to be confined to a few rooms, to have very limited face-to-face conversations, and to be deprived of the natural fellowship of friends and family. To be deprived, ultimately, of liberty. I...

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‘Can I say she had no inner light as she was not a Christian? Certainly not.’

14 May 2020 | by Chris Willis

'...I feel the inner light is a sufficient guide for all of us – if we just do our best to listen.' | Photo: JE Shoots / Unsplash.

Like most Friends I have, from time to time, been asked exactly what it is that Quakers believe. Are they Christians? Is it true there are atheists in their Meetings? After twelve years of attending Meetings all over the country, I have encountered most ‘types’ of Friend: nontheists, Muslims, Buddhists,...

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‘Is this a Meeting for Worship, or just a way of spending time with our friends?’

14 May 2020 | by Christine Habgood-Coote

'The adults have learnt that it takes a lot of concentration to run a Zoom Children’s Meeting well.' | Photo: Hal Gatewood / Unsplash.

When we finally come out of lockdown and reflect on the pandemic, we will all have learnt something. Spiritual practices, appreciation of the natural world, academic study, recipes – the list of possibilities is long. One thing is that, to participate in online Meetings for Worship, many adults have become more...

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All articles

Supreme Court rules on ethical investments

FREE 14 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has welcomed a ruling from the Supreme Court affirming the right of local authorities to make ethical choices in their pension investments.

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Conscientious Objectors’ Day play

FREE 14 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The actor and playwright Michael Mears has launched a video version of his play about world war one conscientious objectors (COs) to mark International Conscientious Objectors’ Day on 15 May.

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2019: ‘Exceptional year’ for legacy money

14 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

2019 was an ‘exceptional year’ for legacy money, according to the annual report from the trustees of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM). The report, which includes financial statements for the year ending December 2019, shows that legacy money totalled approximately £7.4 million in 2019, compared to £2.7 million in 2018. Revenue went up to £17.2 million, from £12.2 million...

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Young Quakers make lockdown connections

14 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Young Quakers have been finding ways to connect virtually during the lockdown period, amid complicated feelings that can range from loss to isolation to relief. As schools have closed and Meetings stopped gathering due to the Covid-19 pandemic, young Friends have come together online to nourish and support each other.

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Tax Justice letter

14 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Paul Parker, recording clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM), has signed a letter published in The Times and The Guardian calling on the government to pursue a fairer tax regime in light of the Covid-19 epidemic.

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Eye - 15 May 2020

14 May 2020 | by Elinor Smallman

A rib-tickler A Quaker observing the lockdown Worshipped at home in his nightgown. ‘Friends will be kind. No one will mind. If they do then Zoom might be shut down.’ by Barbara Miller

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Letters - 15 May 2020

14 May 2020 | by The Friend

Decision-making processes I am uneasy about your news item regarding Vibrancy plans (1 May). I am not comforted by the text of the letter referred to, sent to Meeting for Sufferings representatives and alternates. You refer to ‘a statement from BYM’ (Britain Yearly Meeting). That’s not the Yearly Meeting in...

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