The Friend (Quaker magazine)

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The Friend
The Friend from 1901
EditorJoseph Jones
CategoriesQuaker magazine
Year founded1843
CompanyThe Friend Publications Ltd (a registered charity)
Based inLondon

The Friend is a weekly Quaker magazine published in London, UK. It is the only Quaker weekly in the world, and has been published continuously since 1843. It began as a monthly and in January 1892 became a weekly.[1] It is one of the oldest continuously published publications in the world still in operation. Others (e.g. Punch) which began publication before The Friend have had lengthy interruptions in publication and/or have closed down.


The Friend is completely independent from Britain Yearly Meeting, although since 2004 it has occupied space in Friends House.[2] It is owned by The Friend Publications Ltd., a trust which also publishes Friends Quarterly. The Trustees of The Friend are appointed from members of Britain Yearly Meeting.

The Trustees appoint the Editor who, along with the other members of staff, is entirely responsible for the day-to-day management of the magazine, and its content. Among the initial trustees were Josiah Forster, George Stacey, John Hodgkin.[3]

Editorial policy[edit]

As an independent publication, The Friend is free to report critically on trends within Quakerism in Britain and around the world, and on the governance of Britain Yearly Meeting. It also reports on the activities of Friends and Friends' groups and it is a forum for theological debate. There is a great deal of opinion in the magazine, and the letters page provides a forum for readers to express their views.

One of the ways The Friend exercises its responsibility to give readers an independent viewpoint is by covering Meeting for Sufferings, the standing consultative body of Britain Yearly Meeting, which meets five times a year. Meeting for Sufferings often deals with controversial issues, on which The Friend reports and comments.

The Friend Online[edit]

In recent years, The Friend has begun offering all its content online to subscribers. It is intended to make the issues for the period 1914 to 1918 available as a digital archive.[4]

The printing of The Friend[edit]

For many years, The Friend was printed by an old Quaker firm, Headley Brothers, of Ashford, Kent. Headley Brothers went into administration in 2017. From 23 June 2017 The Friend appears in full colour, printed by Warners Midland plc.[5]

The Friend appears every Friday. It has ISSN 0016-1268.

In its entire history, The Friend has failed to appear twice, due to paper rationing during the Second World War.[6]

Between 1892 and some time after 1931, the magazine was printed by The Orphans Press, Leominster [3]

List of Editors[edit]

The main source for this list is an annotated typescript held at Friends House Library, Euston, UK

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Street of Ink by H Simonis (1917) p.310
  2. ^ "More renovations at Friends House | The Friend". 9 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  3. ^ a b The Friend Vol. 71 (1931) p.1183 <p.1180 – 1183, “The Friend – retirement of the Editor”. portrait, “Contributed without permission of the Editor”
  4. ^ Appeal notice inserted in The Friend 9-05-2014
  5. ^ The Friend vol 175, No.25, page 3 "Thought for the Week: Change and Continuity" by Ian Kirk-Smith
  6. ^ "Printing The Friend" by Stephen H Pitt and Edward H Milligan in The Friend, 5 November 1993 pp. 1425 - 1427.
  7. ^ Charles Tylor 1816-1902
  8. ^ The death of a Friend with the name "Joseph Barrett" is recorded in the Annual monitor(1862), aged 42, on 29/5/1861. The memorial runs from p.17 to p.25, with great piety, but does not mention The Friend.
  9. ^ A.W. Bennett bought the bookselling business and the periodical from Charles Gilpin in 1858 and employed an Editor from 1859.
  10. ^ Information on John Frank in Thornbury, Glos.
  11. ^ Joseph Stickney Sewell 1819-1900
  12. ^ H.S. Newman (1837-1912) was father of George Newman (doctor).
  13. ^ A brief biography of H S Newman at Stumbling blocks to Stepping Stones blog by Gil Skidmore
  14. ^ Edward Bassett Reynolds 1864-1934
  15. ^ E.B.Reynolds attended Ackworth School, leaving in 1874
  16. ^ He assisted the previous editor, H S Newman for the whole period of his editorship
  17. ^ Hubert William Peet 1886-1951. A pamphlet biography is Hubert W. Peet by Winifred M. White (1952)
  18. ^ Bernard Canter (1906-1969) published a collection of his Friend editorials: A testament of love (1965).
  19. ^ Biographical information on Deborah Padfield at open democracy.
  20. ^ Biography of I Kirk-Smith as conference speaker Cleraun Media Conference.
  21. ^ Ian Kirk-Smith wrote a farewell editorial in the 2018-11-02 edition of The Friend
  22. ^ The Friend, 23-11-2018, p.5

External links[edit]