Issue 04-12-2020

Featured story

Thought for the week: Alastair McIntosh takes care

FREE 3 Dec 2020 | by Alastair McIntosh

Recently I chanced to catch a blog post written by Donald Macaskill. He is the head of Scottish Care, an umbrella organisation for care homes. Titled ‘200 Days of Emptiness’ it reflected on the length of time that care home lockdown had then been in place. I was moved to see...

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Jocelyn Bell Burnell portrait

FREE 3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Portrait of Jocelyn Bell Burnell being painted by Stephen Shankland. | Photo: Chris Scott.

A painting of the Quaker astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has joined the portrait collection of the Royal Society. The inclusion makes her one of the few female scientists to have a portrait on the walls of the Royal Society’s Carlton House Terrace headquarters in central London. Out of 200 male...

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Colour coded: Be careful with your labels, says Dilip Varma

3 Dec 2020 | by Dilip Varma

'To be clear, I will never identify myself as a "Friend of colour".' | Photo: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Since the death of George Floyd, Friends in the UK and elsewhere have been considering where we stand in relation to racial equality. In my own Meeting and elsewhere I have seen or heard reference to ‘white Friends’ and ‘Friends of Colour’. No reference to ‘black Friends’ – presumably they are ...

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Is it true an eminent trans Quaker was preaching in 18th century USA? Not quite, says Simon Webb

3 Dec 2020 | by Simon Webb

Portrait of the Public Universal Friend by John L D Mathies,1816. Yates County NY History Cente.

Is it true that an eminent trans Quaker was born in eighteenth-century USA? Can it be that a Friend who lived through the war of independence embraced an androgynous lifestyle, chose a genderless name and eschewed the use of the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’? Well, not exactly.

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Heavy duty? For wardens, lockdown threatened more than just work, says Klaus Huber

3 Dec 2020 | by Klaus Huber

'During an Experiment with Light meditation I got a clear sense that the most important thing for me to do was to look after myself.' | Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

On 16 March, our first booking was cancelled. Four days later, they had all vanished, and worship was suspended. On my answerphone I found a message from our clerk of trustees, reassuring me that my salary would be guaranteed until the end of June. It suddenly dawned on me that my...

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Reality check: Neil Morgan unpicks a knotty subject

3 Dec 2020 | by Neil Morgan

'We recognise a common feeling, and sense that a ‘reality of supreme value’ underlies all human life.' | Photo: Robert Koorenny on Unsplash.

We sometimes get ourselves tied up in knots with arguments over God language in Meeting. People start to sigh, and can become uncomfortable. I want to try to offer some unknotting, so that we might get along better, by concentrating attention on the words ‘real’, and ‘really’.

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Quakers must tackle racism, says BYM

FREE 3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

It’s time for Quakers to tackle racism, says Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM), claiming that ‘racism exists among Quakers in Britain and must be tackled at all levels, individually, in their committees and structures and in the church’.

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Nadiya Hussain withdraws from arms-backed event

3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain pulled out of a careers event for young people after teenage peace campaigners pointed out it was sponsored by multinational arms firm BAE Systems.

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Pop-up shop for refugees

3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

A Huddersfield Friend helped organise a pop-up shop for asylum seekers and refugees last month as part of her long-standing donation work.

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Spending review ‘fails’ green agenda

3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

The government has failed to put the climate emergency at the heart of its 2020 Spending Review, Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has said, tweeting: ‘We urgently need a climate plan with public investment in green jobs, public services and climate justice.’

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First Kenyan Friend for Quaker PhD

3 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

A Kenyan Friend is undertaking research into the history of African Quakerism, in what Woodbrooke describes as ‘important work’ in hearing ‘African voices about African experiences’.

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Respect, compiled by the anti-bullying team at Ilkley Grammar School

3 Dec 2020 | by Margaret Nunnerley

During dark days we all need to hear positive messages. This short book describes an anti-bullying team at a Yorkshire comprehensive school made up of students and three staff. They describe themselves as ‘passionate about our role… because…  bullying can have a hugely devastating impact on young people’s...

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Iris Murdoch: A guide to the novels, by Peter Whitfield

3 Dec 2020 | by Author: Peter Whitfield. Jonathan Wooding

The difference between a religious and a non-religious person is not a question of what one believes, where one belongs, or how well one behaves, but whether one prays. Here’s Iris Murdoch talking about Immanuel Kant: ‘Surely, prayer (or something like it) is as essential as duty; and is...

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Poem: Rare Bird, a glosa for RS Thomas

3 Dec 2020 | by Philip Gross

Grey waters, vast           as an area of prayer that one enters. Daily           over a period of years I have let the eye rest on them. Was I waiting for something?                     ...

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Letters - 4 December 2020

3 Dec 2020 | by The Friend

Assumptions to think about I am lucky enough to now have enough spare money to be able to choose to support the new local greengrocer, who is one of the few ‘real’ shops in my area.But for many locally, paying the extra charges compared to the supermarket would mean...

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