Open Day 2014

The 19th July seems like a long time ago now, but we remain humbled that so many made the effort to come despite the rather damp weather. Folk travelled from far and near to visit: one couple walked the half-mile to reach us in the rain; another couple journeyed up from north London for the day! A full spread of ages, from teens to octogenarians, and of people from the fringes of society to the pinnacle of establishment were present. There were many important conversations, and for some, moments of epiphany, where a dawning understanding lights a face and the world has suddenly changed for the better. Rather like The Epiphany.

James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle, not only gave over his entire day to us, but travelled up from an important House of Lords debate specially to be here, taking an active interest in all the developments of the last year, and making himself available to everyone who wanted to talk. His committment to us, especially as an extra-parochial entity, outside all diocesan structures but still a part of the Church of England, remains both important and encouraging.

Not the least valiant were the Reiver Arts ladies who, in their leaking gazebo, continued to work and demonstrate in appalling conditions, soaked to the skin and kept warm only by cups of hot tea. But everyone who set up stall was affected by the rain.

A fundamental part of our being together is fellowship and hospitality. The provision of free food and drink is therefore a central element of our offering. Thanks to all who contributed to the feast enjoyed by everyone.

Worship is at the heart of our celebration of the gift of life and land. Thankfully there was enough room under canvas and polytunnel to shelter everyone during the open-air service.

Music, too, is an important part of the joy of life. Many who came found themselves playing, or singing, or joining in, or just listening to traditional folk tunes or home-written songs. Probably few expected to be doing so before they arrived.

All of those who were involved in demonstrating, and many who were visiting, have, in some sense, committed themselves to be a part of something that, as yet, remains largely invisible, more an aspiration and a vision. But their very presence gives the vision reality, tangeability. It is a dream for a community where all are welcomed and valued, can participate and learn, can give and encourage, centred around prayer and the land. Many of these people would not describe themselves as Christians, and yet they have found a sense of belonging in this ancient but new outcrop of Church.

Here are some pictures of the day.

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Greenholme - an experiment in permaculture

10 responses to Open Day 2014


  1. glad it went so well. feeble me, gave in to the weather. great to see pictures of the pigs again. liz dodds

  2. Rob and all, many thanks for the photos, it really brings home the work being done. I always remember Genisis 2:15 “The Lord God put man in the garden of Eden to take care of it and look after it. Many blessings to you all, you are in my prayers.
    Living Simply, Chris Benson

  3. Mike

    Looks great, Rob. Hope fully Harriet and I will make it up for 2015’s open day!

    p.s. how are the hugel beds doing?

    • Rob

      Hope you are both well – what are you up to? Hugel beds are settling well – perhaps too well!

      Don’t think we’re going to have an Open Day this year – although we probably will have another apple-pressing day. Even though the last one was poorly attended we got most of our apples pressed, played some music, and everyone left with at least one bottle of pure, fresh, unfiltered apple juice!

      • We’re both well, thanks. I’m just about to start a new job actually. Might be doing some work up in Durham the next few weeks, that’s not too far is it? Maybe I could drop in and see how the permaculture paradise is coming along?

  4. Yvonne & Christian (Kenya)

    It was a great day, despite the rain! We now look forward to this year and joining in the activities planned, whatever they may be…. May Greenholme continue to be blessed.

  5. Mark and Sue Fearn.

    As always – brilliant to be at Greenholme . We had a great day and it was good to meet up with so many nice people.

So what do you think?