Welcome to our vision for an inter-denominational creation care charity that inspires change. A brief summary of our ideas is set out below, based on a proposal written in August 2014. The full document can be accessed here. It’s a work in progress – already it’s clear that we’d like to be an all-Ireland charity as soon as is practical, and that we might also want to focus our work on counter-consumerism and/or animal welfare, in addition to ecology and agro-ecology. But it’s a start; a basis for dreaming, praying, planning and hoping. Please join us. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list you can use the contact form here.
This is our vision for a Christian environmental enterprise based initially in Northern Ireland. The organisation will employ a model of relational theology and aim to inspire change within this individual-society-environment-God matrix by innovating, educating and advocating. As a registered charity and limited company, and with a subsidiary trading company to conduct its entrepreneurial activities, the enterprise will generate funds in a variety of ways to conduct its work. Central to all its activities – which will focus on 1) sustainable food and farming (agroecology); and 2) wild nature (ecology) – will be the inter-connected themes of communication, co-operation and collaboration.
The first proposed project for the organisation is a community farm. This initiative will pioneer the integration of a) care (social) farming; b) community-supported agriculture; and c) conservation farming in Northern Ireland. By doing so it will involve a wide range of stakeholders in actively caring for creation and explicitly linking the environment to sustainable food and farming.
The second proposed project is the setting up of a sustainable guest-house and retreat venue, preferably close to or on the community farm. Ideally involving a period farmhouse or similar dwelling, employing a social enterprise model, and with strong cultural, social and environmental characteristics, the guest-house will be the perfect setting to run Christian environmental courses, retreats and holidays, while also generating funds for its parent charity.
Finally, the creation of an inspiring countryside centre alongside or near the guest-house and community farm is the third project proposed here. Integrating a traditional breeds farm park, cafe-restaurant, farm shop, event and meeting spaces, camp site, and country skills and cookery school, this venue will reach 50,000 – 100,000 visitors per year with the Christian environmental ethos of its parent charity. In doing so it will allow the organisation to inspire change across Northern Ireland and beyond.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.