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INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
CONTENTS – VOL 168 NO 9 3 A Quaker-educated perspective on the world 4-6 Ackworth School 7-9 Bootham School 10-12 Friends School Saffron Walden 13-15 Leighton Park School 16-18 The Mount School York 19-21 Sibford School 22-24 Sidcot School 25 Spirit Rising 26/28 Letters 29 Friends & Meetings
I Am I am the light and the dark I am life and death I am hope when there is no hope I am solitude and a great crowd I am joy and sorrow I am a friendly word and look I am a kiss and a touch I am first love and love after many years I am the wind that touches your face I am the thunder and the lightning I am the bird in the sky and the fish in the sea I am spring summer autumn winter I am the sun on a cloudy day I am the seas and the rivers I am the land and the creatures I am the beginning and the end
Gayle attends Stafford Meeting. Taken from Spirit
Rising: Young Quakers Speak. See page 25.
Cover image: Danielle Peach on the World Challenge Expedition to Namibia taken by students from Ackworth School. Photo: Henrietta Lebetter. See page 4.
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the Friend, 26 February 2010 Young journalism
A Quaker-educated perspective on the world
Judy Kirby introduces the Quaker schools special edition and explains why she commissioned it
We can all remember this… ‘we trudge to school, and we complain that it’s too early, or too dark, or too wet, or quite possibly all three’. We’ve slept till the last minute ‘and not many of us bother with the luxury of the morning news’. Oblivious then, to the wider world.
This is a pupil at Sibford Quaker School describing one of his days. But it is a Friday and ‘everyone gathers to attend the last obstacle that lies between them and the weekend, the Friday Meeting’. And it is here that the awfulness of the world intrudes, as the gathered school Meeting hears recordings from eyewitnesses of the Haitian earthquake. Our scholar responds – ‘the weary travellers of the world start to wake’.
For a Friend editor, Quaker schools are up there with ‘Are Quakers Christian?’ as a bone of contention. So it is with some trepidation we present this special Schools’ issue, in which we have invited seven Friends schools in Britain to write their own mini versions of the magazine. They were each given the same briefing – produce three pages of comment, opinion, feature material and reviews. We thought the Eye page a bit too idiosyncratic for kids to reproduce, but that could have been a mistake!
There is of course a lot about school activities in here – the
York Youth Council, the PeaceJam conferences and awareness of our environment and others. But I was heartened to glimpse through this the stirrings of individual attitudes to war and peace and spirituality. Our sleepy pupil above reflected on how the clutter of his daily routine evaporated on hearing the suffering of others.
hope you will simply listen to the young voices in these pages and judge whether, with their candid approach, they are worthy future bearers of the Quaker way.
We hope to carry features on other Quaker schools in Britain and Ireland Yearly Meetings in due course.
Honesty in spiritual matters is surely a Quaker trait? Listen to this pupil, owning up to atheism – ‘I am, and I believe I will always be an atheist…’ Many modern Quakers are atheists, he says (I can almost hear some of you seething!). After four years at his school, however, one can only marvel at the place he’s reached, describing a Quaker Week roundup meeting: ‘There was energy in the room, energy for change, to be involved, all influenced by Quakerism. I found myself on my feet, talking about this, my heart thumping, giving the first ministry of my life…’ Whatever your views about Quaker education, and I understand the controversy that surrounds this issue, I
Young gardeners at Sibford.
the Friend, 26 February 2010