Thursday, January 2, 2014

On Home Ground

In mid October I was invited by the Blackburn Diocesan Rural and Environmental Officer, Rev Chris Halliwell to join the new Bishop of Blackburn when he visited the Brockholes reserve of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. It was also great to have Professor John Rodwell with us. John is an ordained priest in the Anglican communion as well as being a professor of plant ecology at Lancaster University. Bishop Julian was there as part of his prayer pilgrimage round his new diocese, and wanted to include the environment on that pilgrimage. After a short prayer walk, we enjoyed the hospitality of the staff at the reserve with a cup of tea in the restaurant.


The third week in November is always the North West Birdwatching Festival. Held at Martin Mere, A Rocha have been attending since the beginning. We have a stand there on both the Saturday and Sunday. We were also invited to hold a Christian Worship service on the Sunday. The Saturday was quite busy and we had several people signing the petition to save the Atiwa Forest. It was so busy I missed seeing a very obliging tawny owl roosting less than 200 metres away. After the Festival on Saturday I went to the A Rocha group at Sandbach where Ruth Valerio had been speaking. The meeting was well attended and it was good to see several long standing supporters . It was a busy weekend for Ruth as she was the speaker at our Sunday service as well. I had gone there to collect her. This year our service was a little earlier than previous, which meant some of our regulars were unable to attend. The  musicians leading that morning were the young people from Christ Church, Southport and Ruth spoke on " Birds and Bread". One of our visitors was Dominic Cousins who was giving a talk on mammals both Saturday and Sunday. A few of us shared some time with him over coffee in the restaurant after the service. Throughout the day we continued to engage with folk as they enquired about the birding trips to Portugal. We also had several more folks signing the Atiwa Forest petition. The weekend was a great time of meeting supporters and gaining new ones.

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