Issue 29-01-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: Alastair McIntosh takes care

FREE 28 Jan 2021 | by Alastair McIntosh

Following the violence of the storming of the United States’ Capitol building, legislators there are considering their response to Donald Trump’s role in the events.

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On the books: Nick Wilde offers some insights from his reading on end-of-life issues

28 Jan 2021 | by Nick Wilde

‘Some of these books do not make easy reading, although most of them give guidance and comfort.’ | Photo: by Gabrielle Dickson on Unsplash

I know I am dying But why not keep flowering As long as I can From my cut stem? (Helen Dunmore, ‘My life’s stem was cut’) After the death of my parents, brothers and a friend during a fairly short period, I began to contemplate my own death. I...

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On balance: David Brown thinks personal, local and global

28 Jan 2021 | by David Brown

'So how do we find a balance...?' | Photo: by Loic Leray on Unsplash

‘Aren’t we just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic?’ asked a Friend recently in ministry at Meeting for Worship. He was referring to some concerns about local matters in comparison with the icebergs of pandemic, war and climate change. So how do we find a balance between these issues?

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A welcome change: Marilyn Upton wants recognition for refugees

28 Jan 2021 | by Marilyn Upton

‘If we really were a haven, we would treat newcomers as honoured guests.’ | Photo: by Clay Banks on Unsplash

It has just occurred to me why there are some who regard all those coming to our shores from other countries, wanting to work here for a while, or settle, as enemies. Forgive me for it’s dawning on me rather late – I couldn’t understand this ideology. I grew...

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Samplers, Sewing & Simplicity in Quaker Ireland, by Clodagh Grubb

28 Jan 2021 | by Julianna Minihan

'There was no lack of colour, and no uniform style of dress among early Friends.' | Photo: Bookcover of Samplers, Sewing & Simplicity in Quaker Ireland, by Clodagh Grubb

This beautifully illustrated, A4-size book is packed with information. It relates to the story of Ireland, the development of education there, and Irish women’s history, together with expert and comprehensive chapters on clothing and costume, household linen and soft furnishing. But the main focus, and final chapter, is...

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Gold Medal for Jocelyn Bell Burnell

FREE 28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, 1967 | Photo: by Roger W Haworth

The Quaker scientist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society 2021, following in the footsteps of former recipients including Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Arthur Eddington and Stephen Hawking. The medal recognises her ‘extraordinary achievements’ and has been awarded not only for her personal research...

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Quakers lobby on controversial bill

FREE 28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker lobbying was praised as the controversial Overseas Operations Bill was debated in the House of Commons last week. The bill passed through the Commons in November despite concerns raised by a number of peace and human rights campaigning groups.

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London Friends explore debt and impoverishment

28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The narrative that ‘all economic debt is bad’ is damaging to society and should be challenged, said Mark Thomas, founder of ‘The 99% Organisation’, at a Build Back Better event organised by London Quakers.

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Consider seeds of violence, says AFSC

28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has called on the US to examine seeds of violence there, following the events leading up to Joe Biden’s inauguration when white supremacists and Donald Trump supporters broke into the US Capitol building to stop Congress from certifying the results of the presidential...

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Quaker gets MBE for sponsored walks

28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Newbury Friend Ruth Saunders has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List. The Quaker centenarian received the award for her sponsored walk for Thames Valley Air Ambulance in which she has raised more than £49,000.

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BYM and Africa Section Friends meet

28 Jan 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Sixty-six Friends from Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) and from YMs across Africa came together online to ‘visit’ with each other last month. Job Bikokwa, executive secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Africa Section, opened the gathering on 5 December with a Bible reading followed by worship.

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For what it’s worth: Barbara Pensom on value

28 Jan 2021 | by Barbara Pensom

How is ‘value’ to be assessed? I was recently amazed to read that an Old Master painting sent to auction was ‘worth’ a staggering number of noughts. Its ‘value’ apparently had been further enhanced by having been briefly owned by a modern painter.

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Entangled Life by Melvin Sheldrake

28 Jan 2021 | by Melvin Sheldrake

In this book Merlin Sheldrake shows a fine writing style, making a complex area not only understandable, but life-changingly fascinating. Entangled Life – to whose, or maybe to which, life does he refer? You may not find many answers, but will almost certainly arrive at some intriguing questions. The book reaches...

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Letters - 29 January 2021

28 Jan 2021 | by The Friend

Musico-literary (foot)note Bob Johnson’s writings are always so re-invigorating! His thoughts prompted by the words of Handel’s oratorio Messiah (15 January 2021) prompt me to contribute this footnote. The libretto to Messiah was authored by Handel’s friend Charles Jennens (1700-1773). Jennens lived a reclusive life at his family...

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Eye - 29 January 2021

28 Jan 2021 | by Elinor Smallman

Oh no they didn’t! One Area Meeting’s thigh-slapping efforts to ensure that festive frolics weren’t derailed by Covid had Eye marveling at their creativity. Andrew Backhouse, of Wilmslow Meeting, set the scene: ‘East Cheshire Area Meeting (AM) has organised a pantomime trip for many years, with free...

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