Issue 01-01-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: Kate McNally makes (im)perfect sense

FREE 31 Dec 2020 | by Kate McNally

In the church I grew up in we memorised a creed, a statement of the beliefs we held in common. The life of Jesus was described this way: he was ‘Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried…’

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Top stories

Nothing really matters: give up on the busyness, says Stephen Feltham

31 Dec 2020 | by Stephen Feltham

‘Rather than seek the opportunities presented by changing circumstances, many still cling to the habits of yesterday.’ | Photo: by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

The virtue of giving oneself space is seldom recognised. The concept of doing nothing is anathema for many – almost sinful – and yet doing nothing, paradoxically, can be a very constructive thing. The art of nothingness admonishes busyness and the need to fill one’s life with doctrine, thought and action....

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Only human: isolation has been especially difficult for the bereaved, says Louise Rendle

31 Dec 2020 | by Louise Rendle

‘While Meeting by Zoom has been interesting, companionable, and sometimes fun, I have not felt able to talk with anyone in a more personal way.’ | Photo: by Anthony Tran on Unsplash.

When it first became apparent how serious the pandemic was becoming, it was just over two years since my husband G’s death. As anyone who has experienced the death of a much-loved partner will attest, the pain never goes. We can find ways to manage it and live with...

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Small Axe, created and directed by Steve McQueen

31 Dec 2020 | by Rebecca Hardy

Micheal and Amarah-Jae in Lovers Rock.

Artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen has built a career out of truth-telling. Moving from his acclaimed art, which earned him a 1999 Turner Prize, to his celebrated film work, the west London-raised son of Caribbean parents has always been drawn to depicting the truth, the raw truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes...

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31 Dec 2020 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'Vectors of responsibility wiggle, billow, go plop in a puddle of resounding echoes.' | Photo: by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash.

We gauge things differently now as we walk down the street: eyeing up personal space. A man whose dreads unfurl, mouths his thanks for the room I make as he legs it past me.

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Trust issues: AM treasurers and trustees finally get (online) together. Fred Ashmore reports

FREE 31 Dec 2020 | by Fred Ashmore

‘The rooms were hard to stop once trustees got going.’ | Photo: by Compare Fibre on Unsplash.

Last month the Training and Support Group of Quaker Stewardship Committee (QSC) organised an online get-together for Area Meeting (AM)trustees and treasurers. Trustees missed out on their conference in March, which had to be cancelled. We thought they might now welcome a chance for conversation and briefing. So it...

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All articles

Role call: Celia Waterhouse says one name is an oversight

FREE 31 Dec 2020 | by Celia Waterhouse

As I reach the end of my second triennium as an overseer I’ve been considering our name for this role. How many Quakers realise that overseers are the bishops of our church? The word ‘bishop’ derives from Greek episkopos, meaning, quite literally, over-seer: we perform the role of Good...

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The Black Book: The Britons on the Nazi Hitlist, by Sybil Oldfield

31 Dec 2020 | by Peter Speirs

Learning how to recognise the seeds of conflict and of peace is vital to Friends. Learning from history is an essential part of the process. In the late 1930s, while parliament considered allying with Germany to defeat communism (the greater threat, as some saw it), the Nazi party prepared a...

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Letters - 1 January 2021

31 Dec 2020 | by The Friend

Animal farming change Animal farming is undergoing change and uncertainty due to the UK leaving the EU and increasing environmental and animal welfare concerns. Christian Ethics of Farmed Animal Welfare (CEFAW) is a project started in autumn 2018 involving thirteen partners from Christian churches and other organisations to agree a policy...

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