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INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS – VOL 168 NO 50 3 Paul Parker is new recording clerk 4 Quaker Housing Trust report 5 Quakers and Roma Rachel & Peggy Brett 6 Recognising contributions Sarah Dodgson 7 The Death of Innocence Nicole Haddad 8-9 Letters 10-11 Towards freedom Kevin Bales 12-13 A little peace of Manhattan Joe Thwaites 14 Getting down to business Alice Yaxley 16 Q-Eye 17 Friends & Meetings
Late delivery of 3 December 2010 edition
We regret that due to the snow and ice in Kent, Royal Mail were not able to collect the copies of the Friend from Headley Brothers last week. Neither was it possible to take the copies to Royal Mail.
Please accept our apologies for the extreme delay in getting the 3 December issue to you.
Cover image: ‘Neither can we survive, nor can we die.’ A Nepalese woman explains that her whole family is enslaved. Photo: Peggy Callahan/Free the Slaves. See pages 10-11. Images on this page: The Quaker presence at the demonstration against climate change in London on Saturday. Photos: Ros Sweetman.
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the Friend, 10 December 2010 News
Paul Parker is new recording clerk
THE ANNOUNCEMENT of a new recording clerk for Britain Yearly Meeting was the first, and much anticipated, item on the agenda of Meeting for Sufferings (MfS) held at Friends House on Saturday 4 December.
There was a good turnout of Friends, despite the terrible weather conditions that had so disrupted transport services across Britain, and the announcement of Paul Parker (right), of Thaxted Area Meeting, to the position met with the approval of those present.
Paul addressed the Meeting and said that Quakers were people who took their faith out ‘into the world’ and who ‘live it’: he stressed that there were many challenges and opportunities facing Friends today in doing this.
He said: ‘As Friends in Britain we are facing tough times together. I have a sense that our testimony to equality is to be soundly tested in the next few months and years, in our local communities, nationally and internationally, and we need to be ready for that. The environmental situation poses profound challenges to our testimonies to peace and simplicity.’
‘Only by speaking our truth loudly, plainly and clearly,’ he added, ‘will we be able to help change the world for the better as Friends have so often done before.’
Paul lives with his wife in Essex. He is currently assistant head teacher of Barnwell School in Stevenage and is a teacher of languages. Paul was co-clerk of the
Yearly Meeting Gathering in York in 2009, where Yearly Meeting made the historic decision to treat samesex and opposite-sex marriages in the same way. He added: ‘I am deeply committed to our shared Quaker process and its role in discerning what love requires of us in the world. I am looking forward to serving the Yearly Meeting, this Meeting, and our trustees by being the link between our collective discernment and the centrally managed work, which helps to make that vision a reality.’
10 December – international human rights day
ON 10 DECEMBER the United Nations marks its annual anniversary for International Human Rights Day. We are supporting the day with a themed edition of the Friend.
This edition is researched, compiled and edited by Jez Smith (left), production editor of the magazine, who has a background as a lawyer and activist in human rights.
He has long held a strong concern for the subject: ‘The voiceless and the invisible within our society and the wider world at large need our assistance. We can help them to be seen and heard as part of our witness to turning the world upside down.’
Jez has worked at the Friend for three-and-a-half years and this will be one of his last editions of the magazine. He is moving on in January to be the donor support officer in the fundraising team within the communications department of Britain Yearly Meeting, based at Friends House in London.
Jez has been an invaluable, and highly respected, member of staff. He is very much part of the ‘family’ at the magazine. He has made a huge contribution to the Friend, in both production and editorial roles, and we wish him all the very best in his new position.
Ian Kirk-Smith the Friend, 10 December 2010