Issue 97 | Spring 2024


Winchester Meeting Spreads the Message of Hope by Irene Ashby

Indigenous Spirituality - Our Celtic Christian Heritage by Kathryn May

Quakers at Greenbelt by Linda Murgatroyd

Two Trees in Eden by Wendy Pattinson

Blossoms by Alison Mitchell

Retrofit as Witness for Peace by Judith Leary-Joyce

In the beginning by Stevie Krayer

An Irish Atlantic Rainforest: book review by Susanna Riviere


In considering what to include in EarthQuaker, the editorial group asks similar questions to those encouraged in discerning the call to speak in Meeting for Worship. Does it arise from deep experience, from the mind or from the soul? Is there a sense of divine influence? Could the message be more lastingly given in fewer words?

In receiving ministry, we are advised to reach for the meaning deep within it, recognising that if it is not God’s word for us, it may be so for others (Qfp 1.02, Advices and Queries 12). But when giving ministry, “[t]he more important and profound the subject matter, the greater the need for sensitivity in choosing our words” (Qfp 2.63). This applies especially when the ministry is shared as text, which cannot convey nuances as well as speech.

This edition of EarthQuaker includes contributions that parallel the ministry we receive at Living Witness Friday morning worship. There is often a sense of connection to land and to all life. Friends offer personal and creative stories, poems, and insights from Quaker and other faith traditions, inviting us to see through new eyes and reminding us of the possibility of transformation.

So you will find here a reflection on Celtic Christianity as indigenous cultural heritage, retellings of the Adam and Eve story in prose and poetry, a message of hope from a group of Friends, and an account of home retrofit as Quaker witness. We’ve also included a photo of beautiful spring blossom, a review of a book about rewilding the Irish Atlantic rainforest and, in the spirit of notices, an invitation to get involved with Quaker Arts Network at the Greenbelt festival.

We’ve received a few contributions on reducing world population which did not feel right for EarthQuaker: we read them as advocacy or opinion pieces. We could imagine addressing the theme in future, for instance if Friends wished to write about their experiences of discernment about reproductive or end of life choices in the context of the Earth crises.

Another theme in Living Witness worship and also at Woodbrooke events has been that of vision. In the early days of Living Witness, twenty or so years ago, we held a lot of workshops imagining what a sustainable world might look like, and what Friends might do towards bringing it about. As social and ecological unravelling looms large, it is harder now to hold that kind of strategic, solutions-oriented focus. But prophetic vision can still offer insight and inspiration to guide our pathways, individually and where possible together. We are holding an online Special Interest Meeting on 5th July as part of the Yearly Meeting programme, in which we hope Friends will speak about their visions and pathways in engaging with the climate and ecological crises. Everyone is welcome, but you do need to register for Yearly Meeting. Perhaps this could also be a theme for some contributions to EarthQuaker.

As always, we welcome your feedback on EarthQuaker via the form here or by email to

Laurie Michaelis
on behalf of the EarthQuaker editorial team