Branches

My apologies dear reader for a quiet few weeks. I have had loads of ideas of things to blog about – degrowth, lawns (let them grow!), sea swimming… But it has been a bit of a busy time recently, not least because as a family we are part of a new thing that has just started – a new church called Branches.

This has been a long time in the dreaming, and is so exciting to be coming together!

Firstly – for anyone who isn’t familiar with the idea, I would define a ‘church’ as a group of people who are following Jesus together. This could look like almost anything, and could happen pretty much anywhere – a dedicated church building, a coffee shop, or in a garden (like Branches). Following Jesus is a whole life thing, but we gather as ‘church’ to share this journey together – getting to know God better, encouraging and caring for one another, and loving and serving our wider community (because that is what Jesus said we should do). Jesus once said “where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there I am with them” – that’s a pretty generous definition of church from the Boss Himself I reckon!

For those who hadn’t yet picked it up, we are all christians and I (Oli) am a priest in the Church of England. My current job is an exciting ‘connect with young adults and start new stuff’ kind of role, which I love, and gathering a new church community has always been on the cards at some point. Because oikos living is so much part of who we are it felt like this would likely be part of whatever we started – care for creation, enjoying the beauty of the natural world, being outside and connecting with other people who love these kind of things too. And so, after lots of praying, thinking, chatting and dreaming Branches was born: church in a garden, being family together, connecting (with God, nature, one another, and our wider community), growing (literally growing stuff and growing as people too), finding second chances (a Jesus speciality), and discovering peace together.

So far this looks like hanging out together, eating, playing, sharing stories, pausing for quiet moments, breaking bread, simple prayers, treasuring the beauty around us, making stuff out of old pallets, picking rhubarb and eating it, making a shelter out of a tarpaulin, making dandelion tea, sitting around a fire pit and eating s’mores, planting sunflowers and watching them grow… We love it.

If you live around Brid and would like to check it out you would be so welcome (and no expectation that you would commit to anything!). We are down in the Christ `Church gardens every Thursday 4-5:30 (including having tea together), and Sundays from 12:30 (bring a picnic) – drop us a message to say that you’re coming, or just rock up. And watch this space for more on this exciting new part of our oikos life. Peace be with you 😉

Published by oikoslife

I am married, father of 2 young children (2014 and 2017), pioneering priest in the Church of England, surfer, climate activist and much more. Born in Yorkshire, and currently living on the Yorkshire Coast. Doing my best to live in good connection with God, self, neighbour and creation - working it out as I go.

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