Since becoming a Quaker in 1995, and selling her business a couple of years later, she has run a community centre in London’s East End, worked with street homeless people and refugees, set up a microcredit programme in London, and worked as a research associate for the Prison Reform Trust.
She currently sets up microcredit programmes in Africa and facilitates conflict resolution workshops for Alternatives to Violence (AVP), both in prison and in the community. In 2012 she set up a charitable trust, Open Wing Trust, which seeks to support people as they change their lives to work with and for people in need.
Having worked with writers for almost thirty years in her publishing career, Jennifer is now engaged in her own writing. Apart from a couple of collections of children’s short stories that she edited in the 1970s, Jennifer has had six books of her own published, and has edited one. Her first novel, The Emancipation of B, will be published by Roundfire in February 2015, and her latest non-fiction book, A Little Book of Unknowing, in March by the Christian Alternative imprint of John Hunt Publishers.
After a year’s travel round the world in 2001/2, Jennifer found that she did not want her flat or most of its furniture, and has felt liberated by letting go of many of her possessions. Although she now lives in central London, her flat is small and quiet: an urban retreat, with an occasional glimpse of the stars.
Jennifer has studied singing for many years; it’s an important part of her life as is, increasingly, the art of clowning, which she took up again in 2011. She hopes that creativity and spontaneity – being open to all that is with the freshness of Beginner’s mind – will be a growing tendency in her life.
Jennifer finds balancing an active life with a pull towards contemplation a continuing and fruitful challenge. As she writes, “Life in the world is about a series of balances: of the life within and the outside world; inner experience and outward witness, plenitude and the void”.
Hear an interview with Jennifer on http://www.northernspiritradio.org/index.asp?command=showinfo&showid=632655294523