The journey is about to take its first step onto the land.
We have made an offer on a smallholding in the Bewcastle parish and it has been accepted. So, subject to the usual legal proceedings, we have somewhere to begin.
It is not large, and not the farm identified in our proposal. It is only around 6.5 acres, with a small, single-storey cottage, a two-room outbuilding, a tin workshop/garage, a static caravan, and a dilapidated barn! But it also has a large polytunnel, 12 raised beds, a soft-fruit garden, and a newly-established orchard. It sits on a beautiful stretch of the White Lyne with some good meadowland. And some wonderful neighbours! Most importantly, it has the potential to become the home of a small community.
Our original proposal to the diocese was for a 100+ acre farm that would have made a wonderful base for the future. However, following our meeting with them in June, and despite the support of the Archbishop, it seems to have got bogged down in the bureaucracy. So we have made the decision just to go with what we can afford on our own.
There is much to be done, including some building work on the house before we can move in. But the hopefully the path ahead is now clearer…