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. 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 for the past few years it has occupied space in Friends House. 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.
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
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.
The printing of The Friend
The Friend is printed by an old Quaker firm, Headley Brothers, of Ashford, Kent, and appears every Friday. Its ISSN is 0016-1268.
In its entire history, The Friend has failed to appear twice, due to paper rationing during the Second World War.
List of Editors
The main source for this list is an annotated typescript held at Friends House Library, Euston, UK
- 1843-1849 Charles Tylor
- 1849-1852 Joseph Barrett
- 1852-1857 Charles Gilpin
- 1858-1859 Alfred William Bennett
- 1859-1871 John Frank
- 1872-1875 Joshua Rowntree
- 1875-1878 John Stephenson Rowntree
- 1878-1891 Joseph Stickney Sewell
- 1892-1912 Henry Stanley Newman
- 1912-1931 Edward Bassett Reynolds.
- 1932-1949 Hubert William Peet
- 1950-1965 Bernard Hall Canter
- 1966-1973 Clifford Haig
- 1974-1990 David Firth
- 1990-1993 Sally Juniper
- 1993-1997 Deborah Padfield
- 1997-2004 Harry Albright
- 2004-2010 Judy Kirby
- 2010- Ian Kirk-Smith
- The Family Friend (magazine), published in London from 1849 to 1921