Heather Cawte's Blog (9)


It's easy to forget to be thankful every day, and having a special day to say thanks - even if it isn't my own country's tradition - seems such a wonderful idea.

This year I am thankful for my faith, which permeates my whole life, even when I am feeling as though I am not being 'Quakerly'.

I am thankful for the new friends I have made, and for the old ones I have kept.

I am thankful, as always, for the roof over my head, the food on my table, the plumbing in my… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 11th mo. 30, 2009 at 10:32am — No Comments

Simple Living?

This article was brought to my attention a couple of days ago. Journalist Liz Jones, of the UK Daily Mail, attempted a week on unemployment benefits:


I was delighted that she seemed to get so much from the experiment, but astonished by her lifestyle prior to it. I can't imagine having that much debt on top of a mortgage.

If the economic problems help people realise how much they are spending on… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 11th mo. 23, 2009 at 9:27am — No Comments

Explaining God

I re-post this blog on three other websites, and from last week's entry I have had a number of responses, all asking me to clarify what I meant in my description of how I see God. I still don't have the mental energy for replying to each one individually, so I am putting my reply into this blog post, and I hope it will explain what I mean.

Firstly, I have for a long time been a kind of Unitarian. The way I understand the Trinity is that, just as I am simultaneously mother, daughter… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 11th mo. 16, 2009 at 8:56am — 2 Comments

Quaker Quest: Quaker Worship

I thought it might be interesting for people to see what I said at Quaker Quest about Quaker Worship.

We three speakers had to speak twice during the evening, once on Faith and once on Practice - broadly, what we believe and what we do.

In the Faith section, I started by saying I love Quaker worship because it is unique. I came to Quakers because of the worship - I used to be an Anglican, and then a Methodist, and in both… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 11th mo. 9, 2009 at 10:48am — No Comments

Show us humanity

There have been several programmes on BBC Radio recently about Tennyson, as this year is the 200th anniversary of his birth. In one, a modern soldier read part of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. He explained how well Tennyson captured the confusion of battle, and how he emphasised the bravery of the soldiers and the stupidity of the generals. The young man seemed very touched that someone outside the battle had cared enough about the disaster of it to commemorate it in verse. Paradoxically,… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 9th mo. 14, 2009 at 9:13am — 1 Comment


It was the monthly Meeting for Worship in my home yesterday. After we had shaken hands at the close, we began discussing the case of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the 'Lockerbie bomber', who has just been returned to Libya on compassionate grounds due to his suffering from terminal cancer.

My F/friend Michelle brought the topic up. It has been much on her mind. She said the thing that kept coming back to her, among all the hurt and anger that his release had stirred up,… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 8th mo. 24, 2009 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Further thoughts...

Last week's post generated some very interesting responses and reactions, not only online but in person.

One F/friend told me that she liked that fact that, when she comes to Meeting, she knows she is with people who have thought about their faith, and that our beliefs are not 'dumbed down', and I know just what she means. I think part of the reason for the current Quaker demographic is the tendency for people only to find us after some kind of spiritual search, after a lot of… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 8th mo. 10, 2009 at 12:25pm — No Comments

Are UK Quakers elitist?

Something is bugging me, and has been doing so for a while now. Are we (especially in Britain) elitist? I don't mean intentionally - quite the reverse! - but from what I read, see and hear from other Friends, UK Quakers are predominantly white, middle-aged, middle-class, educated and left-wing. I include myself in this - that describes me absolutely. But Quakerism has so much to offer everyone, and I am concerned that we're not getting the message out beyond our own circle.

We… Continue

Added by Heather Cawte on 8th mo. 3, 2009 at 11:52am — 4 Comments

Strangers in a strange land

I recently managed to find a copy of Jessamyn West's A Quaker Reader, a collection of all kinds of classic (and more unusual) Quaker texts by one of my favourite authors. I've been reading a lengthy extract from George Fox's Journal, and these few sentences struck me very forcibly:

...as I was walking upon the top of the bank there came…

Added by Heather Cawte on 7th mo. 27, 2009 at 7:22pm — No Comments

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