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the Friend INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS VOL 170 NO 11
John Fothergill (1712-1780)
3 Thought for the Week:
Causes for celebration Rachel Jackson 4-5 News 6 Meeting in Malta Linda Hoy 7 But what can I do? John Phillips 8-9 Letters 10-11 Shipwrecks and renewal Alan Heeks 12-13 Deep Field Stevie Krayer 14 The cycle of bikes Raymond Mgadzah 15 Poetry: The Heron Martin Raven 16 q-eye: a look at the Quaker world 17 Friends & Meetings
Cover image: Seascape. Photo: Redbulbul / flickr CC. See pages 10 - 11.
Schoo courtesy Ackworth
‘The most prominent Friend who acted as clerk [of London Yearly Meeting] prior to 1807 was Dr. John Fothergill… who found time amid the pressing claims of a popular London physician to serve the Society thrice in this way as well as in many other capacities.’ He was clerk to London YM in 1749, 1764 and 1779. In his Records and Recollections, James Jenkins remarks on John Fothergill’s clerkship of 1779: ‘…what he said and wrote was indeed, multum in parvo. I never knew any man (Lord Mansfield excepted) who expressed so much meaning in so few words…’ See page 5.
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the Friend, 16 March 2012 Thought for the Week
Causes for celebration
Last Thursday was a big day for Leicester. The Diamond Jubilee tour started in our city and, more particularly, on the campus of De Montfort University where I am a speech and language therapy student.
This royal visit felt like a big deal. The council printed 10,000 flags. Pretty much every manhole cover in the city centre was removed and drain inspected. The vice chancellor ended one update to staff and students: ‘God save the Queen!’ There was a buzz around the place – no doubt about it – and republican sentiment was nowhere to be heard in the formal rhetoric of the event.
But one of the many things I love about Leicester is its spirit of openness. On Thursday evening a student, Joe, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4. He wasn’t keen on the royals, he said, but he was proud of his university, and had joined the crowds to show that pride. ‘Good on you, Joe,’ I thought.
Last Thursday was also International Women’s Day. I spent it not on the streets of Leicester with the crowds, but on study placement at a day centre for people with severe dementia.
Like many other health and welfare services, this centre is going through change, its future uncertain. It is served by dedicated, expert staff. Paid workers have made sacrifices to keep the place open. Others are volunteers. Together they create a loving, cheerful and calm environment day in, day out for their service users, people who might otherwise go without meaningful companionship of any kind.
If you singled these day centre staff – all women – out for celebration, they would tell you not to be so ridiculous. But in my own mind I did celebrate them and I gave thanks for their work last Thursday. The world over is full of women who pay attention to the needs of others. A few are famous, many millions are not. A few are wealthy, many millions are not.
The women in that day centre do the sort of work that is hardly ever noticed in the media – or, if it is, then seldom for the right reasons. They are not idolised, or feted. But they have a quiet sense of the value of what they do: taking the hands of outsiders and drawing them into community.
This Thursday coming won’t be a big day for Leicester. Neither will it be International Women’s Day. But the day centre will be open, as usual, and the work done there is reason enough to give thanks.
Rachel Jackson Leicester Meeting the Friend, 16 March 2012