A podcast from Quakers in Britain and Woodbrooke featuring people talking about ideas, faith and activism. A Quaker Take explores a range of issues in Britain and internationally.

Relaunched as A Quaker Take, find new episodes or listen to previous episodes of Q:Witness from this page. As of December 2020 the podcast is a partnership with Woodbrooke, an international Quaker learning and research organisation based in Britain.

A Quaker Take


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    Show notes

    On reparations part 2: how can we make reparations meaningful?

    What are some examples of reparations? How can we make our reparations meaningful?

    We continue our conversation about reparations with Edwina Peart and Rebecca WalkerWoo, who we spoke to in the first episode. We also speak to Oonagh Ryder who was the Campaigns Coordinator for Quakers in Britain around that time and Siobhán Haire, Deputy Recording Clerk of Britain Yearly Meeting (Quakers in Britain).

    But first we should probably explain why it took so long for this second episode to come out. In the midst of recording we both caught Covid and the disruption meant we were no longer able to keep up with the recording schedule. So, if you want to go back and relisten to the first part you're welcome to. A lot of the content of this episode was recorded around the same time. Despite the delay we felt it was still important to get the episode out as it remains relevant. We will revisit the subject in the future but in 2024 we are starting a new series with new topics.***



    On reparations part 1: what are reparations?

    What are reparations? And what's the role of faith communities in this conversation?

    We speak to Edwina Peart, Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator, and Rebecca Woo, Campaigns Coordinator, about the reparations conversation that is just beginning amongst British Quakers.



    On the Bible

    How do Quakers read and interpret the Bible? This episode we hear from Mark Russ, Rhiannon Grant, Peterson Toscano and Timothy Ashworth for their takes on the Bible. We talk about how Quakers have read scripture over the centuries and how we can engage with it now. We also discuss gender and sexuality and explore how Biblical texts can help us with Quaker concerns today.


    Mark Russ, Rhiannon Grant and Timothy Ashworth are tutors at Woodbrooke. Find out more about Woodbrooke courses, including discounts and bursaries (such as 50% off for 18–35s), by visiting www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn.


    After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to become masculine and heterosexual through conversion therapy, Peterson Toscano came out a quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights. His film, Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible explores the stories of gender non-conforming Bible characters. The film is available on Amazon Prime UK. Get the free study guide on the film here.

    During the Coronavirus lockdown, you can watch two of Peterson Toscano's films for free:

    • Transfigurations—Gender Outlaws in the Bible
    • Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House

    Even before the Coronavirus global pandemic, Peterson was isolating at home producing podcasts including Citizens Climate Radio, Bubble&Squeak, and Bible Bash Podcast with co-host Liam Hooper. He lives in Pennsylvania with his husband, South African author and fellow Quaker, Glen Retief.

    We incorrectly named the author of Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance. Our apologies for that, the author is C Wess Daniels.

    Books can be ordered via the Quaker Centre Bookshop.

    On sex

    What do Quakers think and sex, sexuality and spirituality? How can we all talk with young people about relationships, consent and boundaries?

    In this bumper episode we interview author Lucy-Anne Holmes about her sexual and spiritual experiences. We also talk to David Brockway from the Good Lad Initiative and researcher and lecturer Elsie Whittington about relationships and sex education with young people.

    On climate activism

    It's part 2 of A Quaker Take on climate change and we've got interviews with Elinor from Extinction Rebellion Jews, Quakers involved in the school strikes, as well as excerpts of a recording of a talk with Greta Thunberg, Anna Taylor and Caroline Lucas on the new climate movement. With thanks to The Guardian for the new climate movement recording!

    Extinction Rebellion Jews

    Find XR Jews on Facebook.

    The Climate Justice Seder was run by Yael Tischler, the second woman outside North America to be ordained as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess). She is also part of Yelala, which creates inspiring earth-based feminist Jewish rituals and practices in the UK.

    Greta Thunberg and Anna Taylor

    UK student climate network

    The new climate movement talk was held in partnership with the UK Student Climate Network, Greenpeace UK, Amnesty UK, Campaign against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, the Guardian Live, 350.org, NUS, Policy Connect, 10:10 Climate Action, Parents4Future, Quakers in Britain, WWF and the APPG on Climate Change. Watch the full talk on the Guardian website.

    Quaker links

    How to work with local government (PDF)

    Find @EarthEconQuaker on Twitter

    Swarthmore lecture by Eden Grace

    Check out the playlist of other climate and economic episodes.

    On climate change

    What's the Quaker part in the wider climate movement? Why are faith groups so involved in taking action to tackle climate breakdown?

    In part 1 we talk to Susanna Mattingly from Friends Worlds Committee for Consultation (the international Quaker body) about what that looks like in different parts of the world.

    We also talk to Olivia Hanks about the Quakers in Britain take on the climate crisis. To join the mass lobby of parliament on 26 June email Philip Wood philipw@quaker.org.uk www.quaker.org.uk/sustainability. Find them on Twitter @EarthEconQuaker or as Quaker faith in action on Facebook.


    Subscribe to listen to part 2 'A Quaker Take on climate activism' where we talk to a founder of Extinction Rebellion Jews, hear from young Quakers involved in climate strikes, and some fresh takes on climate justice from lots of different activists.

    Or check out the playlist of other climate and economic episodes.

    On immigration

    What's the Quaker position on immigration and why? What are Quakers doing to tackle some of the injustices in the current system?

    Asking some of the most common questions, we discuss the Quaker position on immigration with Tatiana Garavito, Jessica Metheringham and Bridget Walker. We talk about why it's not just about refugees and asylum seekers, and how we can all work together to tackle the injustices in the UK's current immigration system.

    Further info on Quaker work: www.quaker.org.uk/sanctuary and www.qarn.org.uk/homepage/

    More information about immigration detention: http://detentionforum.org.uk/

    Owning power and privilege (PDF)

    On Christmas

    Do Quakers celebrate Christmas? This episode we hear about different Quaker takes on the festive season, discuss why Quakers don't traditionally celebrate Christmas (and how they sometimes do now), and explore ways to approach difficult conversations with family and friends.

    Times and seasons: A Quaker reflection on Christmas www.quaker.org.uk/blog/times-and-seasons-a-quaker-reflection-on-christmas

    5 ways to disrupt racism: youtu.be/Lcd4VXHTR3Y

    Having difficult conversations (PDF)

    Owning power and privilege (PDF)

    On parenting

    In this episode Jon and Elizabeth talk to two Quaker parents, one non-Quaker parent and two people raised by Quakers to find out what the common experiences are.

    Quaker Parenting Facebook group

    Resources for Quaker parents

    Find events for children and young people

    On allyship

    What does it mean to be an ally? What does it mean to practise allyship?

    In this episode we discuss allyship and solidarity with Tatiana Garavito, Sanctuary Everywhere Programme Manager. We also discuss the history of Quaker abolitionist thought with historian Marcus Rediker.

    Power and privilege toolkit (PDF)

    Healing Justice podcast

    The Fearless Benjamin Lay by Marcus Rediker

    Answering that of God in everyone: A national gathering on diversity and inclusion, 18–20 Jan 2019, Birmingham

    On God

    Five Quakers discuss their take on God, spirituality and Quaker faith.

    The Quakers are right, we don't need God – Simon Jenkins.
    And some letters in response.

    Telling our stories: exploring the Quaker way – Alistair Fuller.

    God, words and us: Quakers in conversation about religious difference
    Quaker faith & practice (online version)

    The Sacred Podcast
    CBC Tapestry interview with Paul Parker – discussing faith and the revision of Quaker faith & practice

    On peace education

    Discussing peace education and nuclear weapons we join peace poet, Antony Owen, CND peace educator Owen Everett, and Quaker staff Ellis Brooks and Sahdya Darr to reflect on the role of peace education in encouraging critical thinking.

    Find out more

    Antony Owen: antonyowenpoetry.wordpress.com

    CND peace education
    England: cnduk.org/education
    Scotland: www.peaceeducationscotland.org
    Wales: walesforpeace.org or www.cymdeithasycymod.org.uk

    Action you can take
    Peace education resources: www.quaker.org.uk/teachpeace
    ICAN Parliamentary Pledge: http://uk.icanw.org/projects/appeal/

    What we're reading
    Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy Briefs: centreforfeministforeignpolicy.org
    Barracoon: http://bookshop.quaker.org.uk/Barracoon-The-Story-...
    Millennium: http://bookshop.quaker.org.uk
    Trans Britain: http://bookshop.quaker.org.uk/Trans-Britain-our-jo...
    Quaker Centre Bookshop events: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/quaker-centre-books...

    PS. We haven't got rid of Quaker faith & practice either, we've just decided to revise it www.quaker.org.uk/blog/revision-of-the-book-of-discipline-what-happens-now

    About 'A Quaker Take'

    Britain Yearly Meeting works on Quaker concerns nationally and internationally and on many issues there is a specific Quaker take. But on others there are lots of different thoughts and views. Here is our chance to explore those different viewpoints. We'll be hearing about lots of different issues that Quakers care about, trying to give space to hear from new people as well – and not just Quakers.

    If you have a comment or question about the show, please feel free to tweet using the hashtag #AQuakerTake and we'll be able to respond. Or get in touch using the details below.

    Music by Adam Janota Bzowski.

    Artwork by Sam Ailey.

    Suggest a topic

    Got ideas for an episode of A Quaker Take? Or a book recommendation? We'd love to hear from you! Get in touch with Elizabeth Payne on elizabethp@quaker.org.uk or share your thoughts with us on Twitter @BritishQuakers.


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    Related blog

    Witnessing for peace at Yearly Meeting

    29 May 2024 by Alison Mitchell

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