Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
the Friend INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS VOL 169 NO 29
3 Proposed ‘green’ refurbishment at Friends House 4 Military influence in schools challenged 5 We don’t just eat porridge Claire Brazil 6-7 Letters 8-9 Portrait of a Meeting Gordon Steel 10-11 From me to you Walter Storey 12-14 Looking outwards Kim Hope 15 Membership statistics Derek Peirce 16 Q-eye 17 Friends & Meetings
Photo: Pamela Gould.
We wonder how many Meetings have two Friends aged 100 years who attend Meeting for Worship regularly and play an active part in the life of the Meeting. Sidney Fisher and Joan Hope are members of Long Sutton Meeting, Mid-Somerset Area Meeting.
Cover image: The interior of Coanwood Meeting House. Photo: Akuppa/flickr CC.
Artists’ impression of the possible airflow in the new room. Photo courtesy John McAslan and Partners.
The Friend Subscriptions UK £76 per year by all payment types including annual direct debit;
monthly payment by direct debit £6.50; online only £48 per year.
For details of other rates, contact Penny Dunn on 020 7663 1178 or email@example.com
Advertising Advertisement manager:
Tel/fax: 01535 630230
Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith Articles, images correspondence should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to the address below.
the Friend 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ Tel: 020 7663 1010 Fax: 020 7663 1182 www.thefriend.org Editor: Ian Kirk-Smith email@example.com • Sub-editor: Trish Carn firstname.lastname@example.org • Production editor: Elinor Smallman production@ thefriend.org • News reporter: Symon Hill email@example.com • Arts editor: Rowena Loverance firstname.lastname@example.org • Environment editor: Laurie Michaelis email@example.com • Subscriptions officer: Penny Dunn firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7663 1178 • Advertisement manager: George Penaluna, Ad department, 54a Main Street, Cononley, Keighley BD20 8LL Tel: 01535 630230 email@example.com • Clerk of the trustees: A David Olver • ISSN: 0016-1268 The Friend Publications Limited is a registered charity, number 211649 • Printed by Headley Bros Ltd, Queens Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH
the Friend, 22 July 2011 Proposed ‘green’ refurbishment at Friends House
and lan cAs
Artists’ impression of one of the possible layouts for the refurbishment of the Large Meeting House. The centre space is flexible and can also be used as seating, giving the same number of seats as at present.
A GREEN AGENDA WILL BE AT THE HEART of major changes to the fabric of Friends’ House, the London headquarters of British Quakers. That’s the promise made by the trustees of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM), the formal organisation of Quakers in England, Scotland and Wales.
The trustees will put £4.25m into a refurbishment that may see a skylight added to the large meeting room, the galleries integrated with the main seating and the entrances to the building revamped.
A BYM spokesperson stressed that plans are at a very early stage and that artists’ impressions show only possibilities. Firm commitments include solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, wall insulation and heatexchange systems.
A statement from BYM promised that the new layout will give disabled people ‘the same opportunities as other visitors’.
‘We want Friends House to exemplify our Quaker testimonies to simplicity, integrity, peace and equality, and to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability,’ said Jonathan Fox, clerk to trustees. The trustees minuted their desire to use Friends’ House ‘to project Quakerism to London and throughout Britain’.
The changes will be funded with money gained from the recent sale of a long lease on Courtauld House, the former home of the Quaker International Centre. The work will begin in 2013. The architects, John McAslan and Partners, are working with Camden Borough Council and the Listed Building Consent Panel.
Most of the changes will affect the large meeting room, which seats around one thousand people. As well as hosting BYM, it is often hired by campaigners, charities and trades unions.
Campaigning Muslim journalist Yvonne Ridley told the Friend that anti-war gatherings had given Friends’ House an important place in her heart. She described it as ‘a place for the people’.
‘When it is packed, that room is electric,’ she said, ‘If the wood panelling or decor was removed or changed, it would remove the atmosphere as well’.
Eleanor Jackson of Cotteridge Meeting told the Friend that she is opposed to any suggestion of removing the gallery. She said it allows people with childcare responsibilities to leave sessions early without disrupting them. ‘This idea is lunacy and disadvantages people,’ she said, ‘I thought we were about equality’.
James Tweedie, a trade unionist and frequent visitor to Friends’ House, said that while he thinks the gallery adds ‘to the beauty of the hall’, he finds the seats very uncomfortable.
BYM’s spokesperson emphasised that no final decision has yet been made on integrating the gallery with the main seating, but that the floor is likely to be raised, removing stairs and making the room more accessible. She said the proposals will not reduce the overall seating capacity.
Symon Hill the Friend, 22 July 2011