Latest news from Jolly Quaker

Since moving to the Othona Community, my blog activity has, for many reasons, slowed somewhat. For all much-appreciated followers of the Jolly Quaker blog, here’s a brief update on what’s been going on over the last couple of months, and some news on what I plan to do with the blog in the near future.

Life at Othona

There have been aspects of our ‘Purposeful Adventure’ that have felt like an extended holiday, particularly our time in the States. Now we’re at the Othona Community in Bradwell, the holiday is definitely over! There are toilets to be cleaned, floors to be mopped, massive batches of chilli to be cooked and a whole host of other jobs to be done. There have been many delights (like the cuckoos, badgers, a supportive team and many wonderful guests) and many challenges (like difficult guests and geographical isolation). My next blog post will give a fuller update, and will explore the dynamic of being an Othona ‘core member’. Busyness, irregular days off and being generally knackered have meant I’ve had little time and energy to devote to writing.

A new job – Nurturing Friends and Meetings Tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre

Antother reason the blogs been a bit quiet is that I spent a lot of time preparing for an interview at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. Upon hearing the fantastic news that I’d been appointed, I then had to keep the news under wraps until Woodbrooke made their own official announcement. Now I can can share that I shall be starting as Nurturing Friends and Meetings Tutor at Woodbrooke in September! To be working somewhere that has such personal significance (it’s where I decided to apply for membership), with a group of people whom I respect deeply and have great affection for, is such a fantastic privilege. It feels a very natural progression from all my adventures in religious community over the last few years. It also means I’ll be settling down in Birmingham in the West Midlands, a city I have loved for a long time.

What next for the blog?

This blog began as a platform for my own thoughts and reflections on Quakerism and community. From September, I’ll be thinking about Quakerism and community professionally – this may mean I’ll have much more to write about! I would really like to make more and better use of Jolly Quaker, perhaps by creating video content for each post. Ideas for future blog posts include reviewing C Wess Daniels’ ‘A Convergent Model of Renewal’ and thinking about it’s applicability to British Friends, and a series of posts reflecting on the current incarnation of Quaker Faith and Practice chapter by chapter. If you have any suggestions for ways I can improve the blog, or topics I should blog on, then please let me know!

Thanks again for following, reading and commenting. I am always energised by your encouragement! Writing this blog, and engaging with other Quaker bloggers, has been such an important part of my spiritual journey over the last few years, and I am very thankful for it.

4 thoughts on “Latest news from Jolly Quaker”

  1. Hello dear f/Friend

    Congratulations at your new “Nurturing” appointment. You will be brilliant at it and I have this sense that it may answer some of your sense of ‘calling’. How does Adrian fit into that particular picture i.e. what will he be doing whilst you ‘nurture- nurture-nurture’?

    Will you be back in Hampstead between now and then and if so I hope Rod and I will see you both so please do let us know when you are down her.

    Big hugs to both of you,


    1. Thanks Sara! I do hope to be at Hampstead between now and September. I will let you know when, and give you all our news in person. Please give my love to Hampstead Friends.

  2. Hi Mark, many congratulation on your new role – what a hotbed of Quaker radicalism Woodbrooke has become! In response to your call for blogging suggestions, the Book of Discipline Revision Preparation Group is about to launch a project to encourage Friends throughout the Yearly Meeting to read and discuss Quaker faith & practice together in a systematic way. This is intended to help us all to get more familiar with our current Book of Discipline better before the Yearly Meeting makes any decision about whether or not to launch a full revision process.
    As part of the project we will be asking Quaker bloggers to consider reflecting on different chapters of Qf&p, starting in September. I can let you know the proposed reading schedule as soon as it is finalised, but thought you might appreciate some advance notice.
    One other thought I had is that there is very little in the way of Quaker podcasts out there – only the Friends Journal in the US is doing one so far as I know. Have you ever thought of experimenting with this? Personally, podcasts are easier for me to use than video as I can listen to them on the bus or at work, without being in front of a screen.
    Hope to see you at Woodbrooke soon. In Friendship,

  3. Thanks Craig! Yes, do let me know about the QF&P stuff. I’d be very interested to be involved. Thanks for the podcast suggestion. I shall explore!

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