Issue 15-01-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: Neil Morgan is in the thin of it

FREE 14 Jan 2021 | by Neil Morgan

We all have some idea of ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ places. ‘Thick’ places are intrusive, irritating and bothersome. We have to fit in to them, to change, and accommodate ourselves to them. For me that’s noisy cities, especially busy train stations. By contrast, ‘thin’ places are those where what is –...

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Top stories

My main squeeze: Bob Lovett is holding on

14 Jan 2021 | by Bob Lovett

‘There’s nothing worse than a one-sided hug.’ | Photo: Anastasia Sklyar on Unsplash

Some years ago, before Covid, during an earlier period of national depression, a public-spirited citizen stood on a busy street with a notice offering free hugs. Even before that, during the heady sixties, a dear friend of mine who had become a widower in his middle thirties confessed that the...

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On the hunt: ‘Animal hero’ Eduardo Gonçalves interviewed by Julie Hinman.

14 Jan 2021 | by Julie Hinman

‘Over the past decade, 1.7 million animals have been killed by trophy hunters. That’s one every three minutes.’ | Photo: courtesy of Habibur Rahman

Why do people engage in trophy hunting? Trophy hunting groups claim they are helping wildlife conservation and creating jobs for local people. Privately, they reveal their true motivations. They do it because they enjoy it and because they’re addicted to it. A British trophy hunter recently compared it to ...

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One to remember: Memorial Meetings over Zoom more than ‘making the best of it’, says Carole Thomas

14 Jan 2021 | by Carole Thomas

‘There followed an incredibly moving and emotional succession of ministry.’ | Photo: Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

‘Good morning, good afternoon, good evening’ sounds like an opening line to a comedy gig, but it was my welcome to a Memorial Meeting for Worship on Zoom, for an attender at Sheringham Meeting who died unexpectedly in the autumn. I am the Friend appointed and entrusted by Sheringham Friends...

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Handel with care: Bob Johnson listens in

14 Jan 2021 | by Bob Johnson

Portrait of Handel, by Balthasar Denner (c1726–1728)

I love Handel’s Messiah – most of it. The rich sounds, the ebullient energy, the familiar soaring melodies, all contribute to a wonderful evening. The words are edifying too – mostly. Perhaps it’s the glimpse into how Christianity looked in 1741. But sometimes they grate, even bringing a catch to the...

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Migrants Day plea for justice

FREE 14 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Butterflies from Friargate Meeting | Photo: courtesy of Eleanor O’Flynn

York Quakers created textile butterflies to send to their local MPs, with letters urging them to back changes to the government’s migration policies. The move was to mark International Migrants Day on 18 December, for which staff from Friends House delivered a statement to the Home Office.

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Friends campaign for anti-nuclear treaty

FREE 14 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker Meetings in Hexham, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Brighton are planning to display banners to mark the historic deadline of 22 January when the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is ratified. Honduras became the fiftieth state to sign the treaty in October 2020, meaning that it now comes into...

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QSA gives £10k to homeless taskforce

14 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker Social Action (QSA) provided a £10k grant to the Covid-19 Homeless Taskforce last month to help people in London affected by homelessness.

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Caution over places of worship exemption

14 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker Meetings can choose to open their Meetings during the UK’s third national lockdown, but several faith leaders have expressed unease over the exemption of places of worship.

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New Year message

14 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The challenges facing Quakerism in 2021 were set out in a New Year blog written by Britain Yearly Meeting’s recording clerk Paul Parker.

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To coin a phrase: Clive Ashwin talks money

14 Jan 2021 | by Clive Ashwin

A popular song of 1946, when I was a child, went as follows: ‘Money is the root of all evil / Won’t contaminate myself with it / Take it away, take it away, take it away!’ Anxiety about the malign influence of money permeates Christian thought, expressed in Paul’s warning to...

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Joe Biden: American Dreamer, by Evan Osnos

14 Jan 2021 | by Reg Naulty

Joe Biden was born in 1942. Evan Osnos says in this worthy biography that ‘He was a product of the Silent Generation, the cohort of Cautious Americans born between the Great Depression and the end of world war two’. He was true to type. He was to be a cautious politician,...

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Letters - 15 January 2021

14 Jan 2021 | by The Friend

Homelessness The St Martin-in-the-Fields appeal has become a familiar part of the approach to Christmas. The work done by that charity for the support of people who have lost their homes is admirable and the sheer persistence of those who want to help others is inspiring.    However, I...

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