Developing our sense of place and loving where we live.

As often as I can I slip away. Away from the busyness of PhDs and parenting, away to the sea. Down through the culvert under the railway line, which fills with a roar when the trains pass, down to the edge of the ocean. Continue reading


The third and final article in a Himalayan-themed series looks at what we can learn from the people of the region.

In East Asian mythology Shangri-la is a mystical paradise, a magical valley hidden somewhere in the fastness of the Himalayas. Travellers lucky enough to find this perfect place never want to leave, for it surpasses all others in peace, tranquillity and beauty. A fanciful story perhaps, but there just might be a grain of truth in there somewhere. For in remote parts of the Himalayas – as well as in other quieter corners of the planet – we find communities who, as a result of their limited contact with the frenetic modern world, have managed to retain important principles that are cornerstones of any idyllic existence: simplicity, community and ecology. Continue reading

Ecology and faith

When studying for my masters I got the chance to spend a couple of days with Alastair McIntosh. We were lucky enough to have have him lead a workshop on Sustainable Development and his experiences in campaigning in the Western Isles of Scotland. Although this is now six years ago and counting, it has stuck with me. I have since read his book ‘Soil and Soul’ (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soil-Soul-People-versus-Corporate/dp/1854109421) and often go back to it for snippets of inspiration and general mind bending craziness. Even if you’re not into the whole redemptive side of ecological stewardship, there is a story here about transformational change against the odds.

Alistair will be speaking in Belfast at Fitzroy Presbyterian on the 28th of February. Get it booked into the diary. Click here on Steve Stockmans blog for more information (http://stocki.typepad.com/soulsurmise/2014/02/ecology-and-faith-alastair-mcintosh-in-fitzroy.html).