the friend online
14 March 2008

News round-up
Quaker Life network launched
Quaker Life is changing how it involves Friends around the country, moving from a committee-based structure to a more flexible series of networks.

The networks, launched this weekend, will allow Quakers to volunteer their services and commit as much or as little time as they wish, rather than have to go through a formal nominations process. There will initially be four network 'nodes': pastoral care, children and young people, Meeting house staff and outreach; these will later be joined by one on diversity and equality.
Quaker Life Representative Council

Charity Commission urges religious organisations to respond to guidelines
Religious charities are being invited to respond to draft guidelines from the Charity Commission detailing their new roles and responsibilities as independent charities.

Since the introduction of the 2006 Charities Act, faith groups have had to show that their activities are promoting the public benefit in order to be registered as charitable organisations. To assist them in this, Public Benefit and the Advancement of Religion has now been published in draft form.

'We're keen to get views from as diverse a group of charities as possible to make the guidance as relevant as possible for trustees', said a Charity Commission spokesperson, adding that when they held consultations last year on their general public benefit guidelines, 'people did recognise that it was a genuine consultation and we took people's views on board'.

Meetings and others have until the end of June to suggest comments and changes to the draft guidelines, which are available online at the Charity Commission website or by telephoning 0845 3000 218.

Resourceful Finnish Friends reveal 'new' outreach poster
Quakers in Finland have adapted one of Britain Yearly Meeting's outreach posters for their own purposes. The poster's wording has been translated into Finnish. Members of the Tampere worship group have also added a panel from the Quaker Tapestry.

Date set for Quaker trial in Faslane base entry case
Bradford Quaker Tansy Newman Turner is expected next week to be the first person in Scotland tried under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA).

Tansy was part of a group who entered Faslane naval base, home of Britain's Trident nuclear submarines, last September to look for evidence of the deployment, targeting and use of nuclear weapons ('Serious organised crime investigation and prevention team field trip' 15 February). Ten people took part in the action, but Tansy is the only one still to be tried under SOCPA: others have had their charges reduced or rejected in court. Tansy's supporters are concerned that she is being made a scapegoat for the actions of the group and are calling on Friends to be in Dumbarton courtroom on Wednesday 19 March to give her their support.

For more information contact Janet Fenton of Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre on 0131 229 0993 or see their website.

Weymouth homeless charity re-launched with sleep-out
Quakers in Weymouth have helped re-launch the town's homelessness charity with a mass sleep-out.

Weymouth Initiative for Rough Sleepers (WIRS) initially shut down in 2006 but was restarted in January this year. It was set up in response to the large number of homeless people on the streets of the town.

'I have been to the funeral today 7 March of the fifth rough sleeper to have died this winter', said Freda Mulvany, an attender at Weymouth Meeting. 'We are a tourist town with the sailing Olympics here in 2012 and all the money and thinking and planning is going upmarket for the Olympics. For those at the bottom of the heap... many people don't want to know about it.'
Weymouth Initiative for Rough Sleepers

In the 7 March edition, the article 'A dream or a way forward?' by Helen Bayes, appeared with part of the final sentence missing. It should read:

'What a great vision! Now I am going back to get some more sleep.'


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In this week's online edition... rss edition

Building links with Congo YM
Oliver Robertson
News round-up
Iglesia de los Amigos Caqeros
Kenya Casanova
The catastrophe in Iraq
Layla Al Roomi
Stevie Krayer & Michael Langford
Strengthening the British Quaker community
Phil Lucas
Portraits of their era
Linda Murgatroyd
Is violence part of our inevitable biology?
Barbara Forbes

Things to do, where to stay, people to see etc...

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