Issue 02-04-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: Frank Regan has a wake-up call

FREE 1 Apr 2021 | by Frank Regan

This year of lockdown has given us words and phrases that will have lexicographers scratching their heads and leaping for joy. Words like ‘furlough’, ‘variant’ and ‘superspreader’ have acquired new meanings or resonances.

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Top stories

Losing the plot: Martyn Kelly says we’ve been reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan all wrong

1 Apr 2021 | by Martyn Kelly

‘The point of the parable is that the people the audience expected to act as neighbours were unable to fulfil their obligations.’ | Photo: The Good Samaritan, after Delacroix, by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but a man was walking down a street when he started to feel feverish. He slumped onto a bench, doubled over, and coughed several times. An infectious disease consultant from the local hospital also happened to be walking down the same street....

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The wilderness year: Dana Littlepage Smith embraces the place where we wait, pray and act for change

1 Apr 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

‘Wilderness is demanding. Yet it may also be a place of manna, of comfort and of sustenance. The psalmist sings of sweet honey from the rock of wilderness.’ | Photo: The Jordan Valley,by Eddie & Carolina Stigson on Unsplash

In the wilderness of my kitchen, I place a rock to remind me of my friend in Colorado. She has placed a stone on the altar for her parish; they will look at it via a video link as they journey through Lent.

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She, cells, seashells: Sally Bramson on the ‘Mother of the Sea’

1 Apr 2021 | by Sally Bramson

‘Today’s artificial seeding techniques are based on Kathleen Drew-Baker’s analysis.’ | Photo: courtesty of the Smithsonian Institute

I read The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook: From Purple Laver to Peacock’s Tail simply because of its unusual title. But in it I found a remarkable Quaker who became Japan’s seaweed saviour.

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Greenham woman thanks Newbury Meeting

FREE 1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Campaigners encircling the Greenham base. CC BY-SA 2.0

A former member of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Movement has paid tribute to Newbury Meeting and the support it gave to the community.

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Green light: Virginia Allport prepares for COP26

1 Apr 2021 | by Virginia Allport

'We discussed carbon cutting or climate marching, and how we should prepare for COP26.' | Photo: by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

During this last year, I have hugely valued the green spaces nearby: the flooded Port Meadow with the honk and whistle of geese and waders, and the wildflowers in the Trap Grounds nature reserve. They have given me, and so many people, a chance to breathe and escape from the...

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Friends mark day of reflection for Covid-19

FREE 1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers joined people all over the country to mark a national day of reflection on 23 March, with a nationwide minute of silence at noon followed by bells tolling. Paul Parker, recording clerk for Britain Yearly Meeting, was among eighty-two leaders from religious groups who signed an open letter backing the...

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Bristol Quakers hold peace lecture

1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Bristol Quakers held their annual peace lecture last week on the theme of ‘Can war be abolished? Britain’s role in working for world peace.’

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‘Quaker Question Time’

1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill will feature in the second of the ‘Quaker Question Time’ events, which will take place online in June. Friends will be able to put questions to the shadow secretary of state for International Development and Britain’s first female Sikh MP,  who, according...

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Quaker Tapestry Museum raises roof funds

1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

The Quaker Tapestry Museum has raised over two-thirds of the estimated £250,000 needed to restore its roof. The funding has been sourced from local Quaker funds, grants and donations. This includes the ‘Revive, Survive and Thrive’ appeal, which general manager at the museum Bridget Guest said has had a ‘most encouraging...

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QUNO updates CO guide

1 Apr 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) has released an updated edition of its booklet International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service. The guide includes information on the ways in which conscientious objection (CO) to military service has been recognised within the UN system and is protected under human rights treaties...

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Past, caring: Elaine Green is inspired by Samuel Fothergill

1 Apr 2021 | by Elaine Green

I have a bit of a preoccupation with the Quakers of the eighteenth century, and Samuel Fothergill of Warrington in particular. I completed my master’s degree dissertation on him in 2018. He got me through losing my mother and, within a short space of time after completing my dissertation, I...

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Changes and chances / this fleeting world

1 Apr 2021 | by Barbara Davey

I Post-equinox, the light inside is different now. A frieze of hornbeam hedge in silhouette illuminates the dining room’s dim wall and casement astragals ascend the stairs. I read that if light could curve it would not cast shadows, gifting us this black and white, alongside uncertainty and haze....

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Eye - 2 April 2021

1 Apr 2021 | by Elinor Smallman

A joyful journey Friends in Beverley Meeting have discovered new ways of sharing their creativity and bringing joy to unexpected places during lockdown.

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Letters - 2 April 2021

1 Apr 2021 | by The Friend

Mass destruction weapons The International Peace Bureau has just awarded this year’s Sean MacBride Peace Prize to the Japanese Hidankyo Signature Campaign in support of the hibakusha’s (survivors of the A- and H-bomb explosions) appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.    The signature campaign, and the...

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