I'm Going Wild - So Is An Eco Church

I'd already agreed to a four months teaching tour of Australia. Then came a persistent plea 'add one more week and come to us'. 'Us' is the wildest place you could imagine miles from anywhere you've heard of. If I can do it, why not you? Come and join me there. This is what's on the wilderness web site:

From ancient Celtic spirituality to new monastic churches: a wilderness retreat in the wilderness of Western Australia with Ray Simpson, the founding Guardian of the International Community of Aidan and Hilda, from the holy island of Lindisfarne, U.K. A new cradling of Celtic spirituality. Monday 18 May - Friday 22 May 2015 PROGRAM: Ray will offer sessions on the rhythms of prayer, work and re- creation, pilgrimage and poetry, soul friendship, life-long learning, healing the land and indigenous relationships. The retreat is offered in conjunction with Koora Retreat Centre, set in Boorabbin National Park in Western Australia, a base camp from which to experience the wilderness and explore desert spirituality alone and in community. Koora Retreat is 70km east of Southern Cross and 160km west of Kalgoorlie and offers monastic cell style accommodation, some with en-suite or private bathroom facilities and gourmet camp cooking, a cloister, library and wilderness. More information: www.kooraretreat.com.au where you can book and pay for this or other retreats. Koora Retreat recognises the cultural and spiritual stewardship of aboriginal Australians who travel through this land from waterhole to waterhole upholding ancient tradition For full details press for this link: http://www.kooraretreat.com.au/scheduled-retreats/2015/5/18/from-ancient-celtic-spirituality-to-new-monastic-churches-with-ray-simpson

I met Gill Mack at Liverpool. She likened the role of spiritual directors to midwives of the soul. Now she sends this report of an eco church in Britain's Ribble Valley of which she is priest:

'Our Church of St John the Evangelist has an electoral roll of 61 people, 30 -50 of whom come regularly, either once a month or every Sunday. Every age group is represented from birth to nono-generians.

Some years ago the PCC (church council) decided that they wanted to work for an award from Eco-Congregation. By the time we had gained our second Eco-award and were looking toward the third one, Ecology and eco-decisions had moved from being at the periphery of church life (almost an added optional extra) to an integral way of looking at life, ministry and mission. Care for the environment, working for justice, renewable energy and good stewardship are now interwoven into every decision that we take as a church and a Christian community. The church is a fair trade church, seeking to use LOAF principles in its hospitality and social events (Local, organic, animal friendly and fairly traded). The village is a fair trade community. St John's Church is often referred to by Anglicans and Catholics alike as the church at the edge of the village but at the heart of the community. We have opened the church every day since refurbishing and advertise the Eco-loo to tourists and walkers. We also provide refreshment facilities and a tourist information point. Regular events are held called "Church goes Wild" when adults and children come together to work for the environment, to study nature, to care for the churchyard and to encourage others to do the same'.

Posted at 07:59am on 21st October 2014
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