Issue 14-05-2021

Featured story

Thought for the week: John Myhill requests the Presence

FREE 13 May 2021 | by John Myhill

Finding the Presence in the stillness in a Quaker Meeting is hard but it is not difficult. It does not require years of practice, nor struggle with dark forces. Education, knowledge of theology, complex reasoning and arcane wisdom are even less helpful.

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Top stories

Only human: Sue Hampton’s solo protest

13 May 2021 | by Sue Hampton

‘There’s no giving up on life on earth.’ | Photo: courtesy of Sue Hampton

When the idea of a sitting alone in a road was first aired, I was opposed to more disruption of ordinary lives, preferring to inconvenience fossil fuel companies and the banks that finance them. Yet two weeks ago I blocked a road in Harpenden, one of many sitters nationally. Sometimes...

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Overlooked or sidelined? Reading Margaret Fell by Joanna Godfrey Wood

13 May 2021 | by Joanna Godfrey Wood

Image: Margaret Fell and George Fox accompanied, John Jewell Penstone, c1860

Reading texts written centuries ago can be an unsettling experience. And I wasn’t ‘just’ reading, either. I was copying out every last word of a vast collection of writings, last published in 1710 with the amazing title: A brief collection of remarkable passages and occurrences relating to the birth, education,...

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Brain waves: Ann Limb in the deep end

13 May 2021 | by Ann Limb

'The short clips look and sound like a mystical experience, but there is also a verifiable medical explanation for what happened.' | Photo: by Lindy Baker on Unsplash

I visit the Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island, regularly. It’s a special place. The wind is more or less a meteorological constant, whether it blows in from the chilly North Sea or finds landfall from the west, still bearing moisture from the Atlantic. It’s...

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Step up: Peter Belton proposes a pilgrimage to COP26

13 May 2021 | by Peter Belton

'Pilgrimage is a time of mediation, atonement and joy.' | Photo: by Kitera Dent on Unsplash

Friends will know that the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow this November. These talks are about concerted global action on climate change. It is vital that our nations commit to radical change. The challenges are huge and, for an individual, it...

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Pursuit of justice: The speech given to his trial jury by ‘Shell 7’ activist Ian Bray

13 May 2021 | by Ian Bray

Photos courtesy of @Shellknew, on Twitter

‘Lord, take my soul, but the struggle continues.’ These were the last words of Ken Saro-Wiwa just before he was executed in the 1990s at the behest of Shell. One small part of that struggle is going on here today in this courtroom, and I hope I’m worthy to...

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Turkey in the spotlight for CO Day

FREE 13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Friends are getting ready for International Conscientious Objectors (COs) Day. This year’s national ceremony on 15 May will honour contemporary war resisters, as well as all those who have maintained the right to refuse to kill. Symon Hill, from the Peace Pledge Union (PPU), told the Friend: ‘This year, we...

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Friends join push to ‘save the NHS’

13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

London Quakers are highlighting a new project launched to ‘save the NHS’.

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Quakers in XR ‘Rebellion of One’

FREE 13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

At least two Friends took part in one of Extinction Rebellion’s (XR) latest acts of protest, the Rebellion of One. Over 200 people came out on the streets on 1 May to take part in single-person roadblocks all over the country to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

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Friends form virtual choir

13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quakers have been taking part in an online choir launched by the Friends in Tune group. The aim of the choir is to record two songs individually which are then uploaded to the Friends in Tune website. The tracks are then blended to form one overall choir by Quaker Tony...

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QCEA project on award shortlist

13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)’s work on the role of gender in peace and security issues has been shortlisted for the Engagement and Place Award. The Gender and Inclusivity in Peace and Security project was co-led with Katharine Wright from Newcastle University.

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More LDWs appointed

13 May 2021 | by Rebecca Hardy

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has said that the new local development workers (LDWs) in Yorkshire and Scotland have strengthened Quakers’ ‘network of local support’.

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Are reparations Quaker business? Fred Ashmore reports

13 May 2021 | by Fred Ashmore

The answer is really simple. It’s a ‘no-brainer’ according to our main speaker, Richard Reddie, the director of Justice and Inclusion for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. His answer came at the end of a powerful exposition to some forty London Friends on the subject of reparations. Richard...

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Life support: Sue Glover Frykman on online eldership

13 May 2021 | by Sue Glover Frykman

Although we are most familiar with elders in local Meetings, there are lots of situations where the role can be valuable. For me this has included Woodbrooke.

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In Meeting

13 May 2021 | by Kathleen Bell

We sat together in the white-walled room where no one spoke. God didn’t happen. I shuffled, stared at the carpet, wanted a crack in the silence, words, something to change. The shopping list in my mind said soap, potatoes, jam, then went askew adding things that weren’t for...

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Letters - 14 May 2021

13 May 2021 | by The Friend

Kindertransport Having been a Jewish seeker all my life I became a Quaker in 2008. While the Quakers certainly saved many Jews in the Holocaust they were by no means the only organisation to do so. From early 1939 the Red Cross took children to England and Sweden where my three-and-a-half-year-old brother...

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