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CONTENTS – VOL 168 NO 49
INDEPENDENT QUAKER JOURNALISM SINCE 1843
3 Reflecting on peace in Nottingham 4 More affordable housing needed for young people 5 Citizens action together 6-7 Coming to America Simon Webb 8-9 Letters 10 Poem: In a young time Gerard Benson 11 Poem: Vegetation III Carol Gardiner 12 Morality versus religion Janet Scott 13 Elfrida: the story of a personal commitment Paul Lacey 14 Medical contributions of Quakers JMS Pearce 15 Science isn’t everything Ian Kirk-Smith 16 Q-eye 17 Friends & Meetings Cover image: Photo: Trish Carn. See pages 6-7 and 10-15. Images on this page: Top, the dove-shaped plan of the Peace Garden in Lenton Abbey Park and below, two of the children learning to plant. Photos: Andrew Edis.
Correction: Open letter – There are currently forty animals currently captive in four British circuses not four animals in four circuses as printed in the 26 November issue (page 5).
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the Friend, 3 December 2010 News
Reflecting on peace in Nottingham is.
FRIENDS IN NOTTINGHAM are using art, dialogue and media engagement to encourage local people to consider the meaning of peace. They are one of several Meetings that are exploring peace issues in the run-up to the 350th anniversary of the first formal declaration of the Quaker peace testimony in January.
Discussions, paintings and a quilt are all part of the Nottingham programme. The quilt consists of squares sewn by Nottingham Friends, with each contributor illustrating what peace means to him orher. Four of the contributors are children.
Local press and radio have reported on Nottingham Friends’ initiatives and the issues involved. People of all faiths and none were invited to a peace supper last week. They were able to view a peace exhibition, which includes paintings as well as the quilt.
Nottingham Quaker Lynne Richardson told the Friend that the emphasis on peace had helped to bring the Meeting together. ‘It has focused people’s minds a bit more and got people thinking,’ she said.
Nottingham Meeting’s efforts have already resulted in a peace garden in a local park, which was opened in July after being designed by local Friend Ann Hope.
The Meeting has drawn on its own members’ experiences to explore peace. One of their oldest members, John Gray, was born during the first world war and undertook relief work in mainland Europe after the second world war. He continues to lobby his MP about the conflicts in Palestine and Afghanistan.
In January 2011, it will be three and half centuries since Quakers issued a national statement declaring that ‘the spirit of Christ which leads us into all Truth will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons’.
Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) are encouraging Quakers to reflect on the contemporary meaning of the peace testimony in the light of the anniversary. Ten to twenty Meetings are reported to be using a workshop that QPSW designed to help them explore the issues.
QPSW’s Sam Walton told the Friend that one aim of the workshop is to celebrate the original declaration. But he emphasised that it is also intended ‘to encourage Friends to engage and struggle with the peace testimony’. He said, ‘Hopefully, by dedicating some time to thinking about how the peace testimony affects their lives, Friends will be led to act on it’. He also reminded Friends of the discussion of peace at Britain Yearly Meeting in 1993. Minute 23 states: ‘The peace testimony is a tough demand that we should not automatically accept the categories, definitions and priorities of the world’.
Symon HIll the Friend, 3 December 2010