Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme

Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme has been started to help those managing woodlands and those wanting to fuel their community.

The programme aims to help local communities connect with their local environment and local energy supply, and understand the productive nature of woodlands, as well as increase supply and demand for woodfuel. As a result the aim is to reduce carbon footprints, improve biodiversity, and reduce ‘fuel miles’.

Find out more, including details of their ‘Logs for Labour’ scheme via the website: Oxfordshire Community Woodfuel Programme.

Earthing Faith Retreat Day – 6th June 2013

Connecting with God and nature

contemplative in style + practical in nature

Thursday, 6th June 2013

Wonder and awe are important sources of spiritual growth for many of us, and such transcendent moments, when we feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves, often occur in nature.

Join us for an exploration into nature based Christian practices and natural theology with guest facilitator Bruce Stanley, author of the new book Forest Church: A Field Guide to Nature Connection For Groups and Individuals and hosted by Matt Freer, Diocesan Environment Officer.

This retreat style day will explore the relevance of natural theology to our faith, with lots of space for guided practical exercises interwoven as we walk through the woods.

What is Forest Church? The idea is a fresh expression in nature, and drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places. Read about the new book here.

The day will take place in Wytham Woods just outside Oxford and will be largely based outdoors.

Cost: £22 per person, which will include refreshments, but attendees are asked to bring a packed lunch. Spaces are limited to 25 people, and booking for the day is essential.

Please note: As the day will require walking in the woods and uneven surfaces participants will need to be physically fit to walk in such terrain. Although we hope for a sunny day participants will also need to dress appropriately for all weather conditions.

Questions? Contact Matt Freer, Diocesan Environment Officer.

* Sorry the day is now fully booked – come to the evening gathering instead – see below *

Can’t make it? Join us for the Earthing Faith network gathering in the evening instead.

The next Earthing Faith network gathering will take place in the evening of the 6th June at Wytham Woods – 7.30pm-9.30pm. The focus for the evening will be to introduce the idea of Forest Church and explore together how we might nurture expressions of Forest Church in our local areas and hear from those already running Forest Church groups. This will be free of charge and open to anyone, so if you can’t come to the day itself please also feel welcome to join us for the evening. Join the Earthing Faith network mailing list to automatically get more details.

Forest Church

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Forest Church is a fresh expression in nature, drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places and much older traditions when sacred places and practices were outside.

The idea provides for a fresh way of connecting with God in nature, and local groups are springing up all over the place, including in the Diocese of Oxford.

Forest Church registered groups:

Not yet registered groups:

  • Forest Church group in Carterton – has been exploring outdoor and bushcraft skills, led by Rev. James Maddern (meet at the Metal Horses, Kilkenny Country Park, nr Shilton Park, Carterton. All welcome, no experience required). Current plans: 6th July 2014 2.30pm – 3.30pm Forest Church Communion and 20th July 2014 2.30pm – 3.30pm Forest Church Activity Party

Find out more about Forest Church – and if there is a group near you – at www.forestchurch.co.uk. There is also a lively Facebook group, as well as a book (see below) full of resources, practical advice and theory to guide you in nature connection and in setting up a group.

Forest Church: A Field Guide

The guide book, Forest Church: A Field Guide to Nature Connection For Groups and Individuals by Bruce Stanley, introduces readers to the idea of nature connection and Forest Church and provides a plenty of ideas and inspiration for anyone thinking of starting a Forest Church.

Copies of the book can be ordered for £7.95 on the Mystic Christ website.

Here’s what others have said…

Bruce Stanley’s easy to read, inspiring, practical book is written with his skills as a life coach and a naturalist to the fore. He takes spirituality beyond its traditional confines of building and doctrine to a new kind of church that is earthed in experience of the outside world and the One who made it. His refreshing, inclusive and enthusiastic approach is timely and will speak to today’s hunger for a church that can reach wider and touch deeper simply by starting with the ground we stand on.
Tess Ward, Chaplain and author of The Celtic Wheel of the Year.

I sense that ‘Forest Church’ by Bruce Stanley will become a vital textbook for many of us who long to reconnect faith, being human and the natural world. Drawing on his own extensive experience, insights from other nature-experts and the spiritual practices of those who have never forgotten our belonging to the earth, this ‘Field Guide to Nature Connection’ engagingly offers a wealth of insights, ideas and resources to enable us to participate with nature. Time to get out into the forest!
Ian Adams, author of Cave Refectory Road and Running Over Rocks.

Don’t read this book if you’re not ready to be surprised – and quite possibly delighted. Our alienation from the natural world is well documented, and Bruce Stanley offers tried and tested ways to explore the connection, whether in urban park or remote forest – with the possibility of personal renewal and even encounters with the divine.
Olive Drane is author of Spirituality to Go, Fellow of St Johns College Durham, England and Affiliate Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, California.

An Introduction to heating church buildings – 14 March 2013

Building skills: conserving, maintaining and developing your church for the future

An Introduction to heating church buildings

An afternoon workshop for churchwardens, clergy and fabric committees, exploring the challenges of heating church buildings and the variety of heating technologies available today.Speakers will include: Geraldine O’Farrell (DAC heating adviser and Senior M&E engineer for English Heritage) and Natalie Merry (DAC secretary).

For individuals with particular cases or questions in mind, there will be the opportunity to book one-to-one sessions with the DAC secretary at the end of the afternoon.

To book your place, please contact Sophie Hammond on 01865 208228 or email sophie.hammond[at]oxford.anglican.org
When: Thursday 14th March, 12 noon

Where: All Saints Church, Sutton Courtenay (Church Street, Sutton Courtenay, OX14 4AE)

Parking possible in small village car-park or on road by the church. Please lift-share if possible.

Sandwiches and light refreshments to be provided on arrival.