Issue 22-05-2020

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Featured story

‘As the Father sent me, so I also send you.’ (John 20:21)

FREE 21 May 2020 | by Janet Scott

We are so accustomed to the dramatic account of the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, with its ‘mighty wind’ and ‘tongues of flame’, that we often overlook this gentler story in John. Here, on the evening of the resurrection, Jesus himself gives the Spirit to his disciples. For...

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Top stories

‘Waiting may well be the compost in a life of prayer.’

21 May 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

‘This may be the holy ground of paradox. The humus of ultimate humbling.’ | Photo: Edward Howell /

I have a friend who has let the word ‘hope’ drift from her lexicon. She has good reason. She says hope takes her away from her present, which includes pain and loss. My friend is a compassionate and wise woman who has witnessed systemic injustice. Maybe for today she is...

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‘A seed’s been planted today.’

21 May 2020 | by Jonathan Wooding

‘In the silence of this Meeting I am coming to the realisation that the kindly bishop has inadvertently rumbled me.’ | Photo: emma valerio / Unsplash.

The upstairs room is narrow with a low ceiling, a thin crossbeam painted black giving a sense of some antiquity. The walls have been whitewashed, and on the floor is a cream, marble-effect linoleum. There is a small sink at the other end, as if this were once a bedsit...

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Silence Like Rain

FREE 21 May 2020 | by Philip Gross

'Silence, like rain, falling / on the Quaker Meeting...' | Photo: SpicyTruffel /

Silence, like rain, falling on the Quaker Meeting, on the congregation of rooks at the edge of the wood, on the sangha where a young monk enters late, at the back, folds his saffron robe in place a little too carefully, then even he forgets himself

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‘Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Ecumenical Quest’ by Keith Clements

21 May 2020 | by Richard Seebohm

Close-up of the book cover. | Photo: World Council of Churches.

For many years Dietrich Bonhoeffer was general secretary of the Conference of European Churches. Cross-referencing this book with Bonhoeffer’s own Letters and Papers from Prison offers illuminating takes on theology. It even makes me more comfortable about the divide between theist and nontheist Friends.

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‘MBS: The rise to power of Mohammed bin Salman’, by Ben Hubbard

21 May 2020 | by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | Photo: William Collins.

The paradox of Saudi Arabia is that it is a close ally of the United States, and that it has a conservative version of Islam. In the attack on the twin towers in New York on 9/11, fifteen out of the nineteen hijackers were Saudis, as was their leader, Osama bin...

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All articles

‘We were reminded of the wealth of resources available to us.’

21 May 2020 | by Ann Floyd

When conducted face-to-face, the Annual Meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation’s (FWCC’s)Europe and Middle East Section (EMES) blends formal sessions and informal interactions. The formal ones cover business and structured learning, while the informal ones provide for personal connection and new ideas. This Zoom Meeting had...

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‘Only one in three contributors a woman’

FREE 21 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker Socialist Society (QSS) has called for a renewal of the language used to talk about social responsibility in the process of revising Quaker faith & practice. The group has sent a statement to the Book of Discipline Revision Committee after it found that in the section on social...

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Spike in applications for hardship grants

FREE 21 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker charity The Pollard and Dickson Trust has said it received ‘a definite spike’ in the number of Friends applying for financial help in the first six weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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YFGM lockdown reading group

21 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Members of Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM) have been considering how ‘hyperlocalism’ can help in the fight against climate change in a new online reading group set up through the lockdown.

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Friends press MP on Israel government

21 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers have been writing to their MPs to urge action against the Israeli government’s plan to bring forward legislation to formally annex significant parts of occupied Palestine.

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Quakers in Africa in ‘difficulty’

21 May 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Many African Friends and their neighbours are in ‘considerable and increasing difficulty’, Quakers have said. In a joint letter from the clerks of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Africa Section, Friends Church Kenya, and Friends United Meeting (Africa Ministries), they said that the Friends’ hospitals in Kenya and...

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Eye - 22 May 2020

21 May 2020 | by Elinor Smallman

The Friend in flight Pages of the Friend joined the leaves of a tree after a creative Quaker transformed them into birds (see above). Alison Meaton, of Penzance Meeting, shared a photo on Twitter, saying: ‘I’ve made #Peace birds to hang in tree in my front garden. I knew...

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Letters - 22 May 2020

21 May 2020 | by The Friend

Lockdown good or bad? There have been many different specialist suggestions in different countries as to how to deal with the coronavirus. Who knows how to get out of lockdown? What I mean is, if we don’t get general immunity to the virus – by lots of us getting it –...

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