Leaving Quaker Meeting and Discovering Queer Faith

Something is queer if it smudges and transgresses boundaries. Queerness takes stone walls and reveals them to be lines drawn in the sand. Queerness asks: Who drew these lines and who do they serve? Queerness delights in the blurring of edges and shows how joy and creative energy can be found in the in-between places. So a queer approach to faith is to embrace loose ends and trespass across supposedly unpassable borders, and say this is a legitimate spiritual path.

Thank you to my readers in 2022

In 2013, when I began the Jolly Quaker blog, I was a primary school music teacher and writing Quaker-shaped Christian theology was a hobby. As 2022 draws to a close, the seeds I planted a decade ago have bourn more fruit than I could ever anticipate. I started a PhD, my first book was published, and I branched out into broadcasting. I wouldn’t have gotten very far without the encouragement of people like you who’ve taken an interest in my work, so as a big ‘thank you’ for your support and the time you’ve given to reading my theologising, here’s my now customary reflection on my reading, writing and thinking over the last year.

‘Quaker Shaped Christianity’ has been launched

On Monday 7th December, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre hosted the online launch of my new book, 'Quaker Shaped Christianity'. Over 50 people attended from all over the world. Thank you to everyone who attended! The first part of the launch was recorded and is now available to watch. The recording includes a conversation between myself and Woodbrooke tutor Stuart Masters, followed by a short reading of the book.

When do Quakers celebrate Easter?: The Quaker testimony against “times and seasons”

Quakers in the past may have had a ‘testimony against times and seasons’, but this is no longer true in Britain today. Many Quaker meetings, including my own, will have Christmas-themed worship in December. We have abandoned referring to Monday as ‘second day’ and June as ‘sixth month’, except in some formal documents like marriage certificates. In practice the testimony has fallen away, but nothing positive has replaced it. We find ourselves in a half-way house, with no clear corporate answer on the place of times and seasons in the Quaker faith. If we take a look at why Quakers opposed times and seasons in the first place, we might be able to construct an approach that makes sense for us today.