Setting up urban and land-based community hubs in East Anglia and inviting a living inquiry into how we can become increasingly regenerative and innovative as together we respond to the multiple crises of our times and take bold and imaginative steps towards a more just and beautiful world.
Taking one step at a time, inviting the power and wisdom of the collective, evolving a culture of integrity and trust, and playing our part in reinventing and re-localising our economy.
Tending what is broken and lost in ourselves, in our communities and in our lands, celebrating what is good and whole, and exploring important life questions about such things as meaning and purpose.
Welcome to the Gathering Gates website, and thanks for visiting. The contents of this website have been produced by Jenny Haycocks and Eliza Day. Drawing inspiration from other like-minded initiatives around the country, we’ve been meeting together – and with our friends K2, Abie and others – to explore the question of what's happening and what's needed in our corner of the world. The foundational vision set out here is the outcome of this inquiry.
In formulating this response, we have considered how we might do it differently, shifting our ways of being, knowing and doing to a more sustainable level, and attending to the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’.
We see this project as part of a movement of movements that is gearing up to unleash a wave of grassroots innovation and transformation. Our hope is that, by coming together in the intentional way we have envisioned here – in community, in connection with the breathing living earth, and attuned to the spirit of the universe – we will be better able to turn and face the very real dangers in our path at this time, and play our part in the rapid adaptation that we (and many others) believe is being called for in these times.
We hope you will feel inspired by what you find here, and perhaps encouraged to take a step towards connecting with us, and with this vision.
The driver below is a short statement of the core motivation behind this project, the why that is moving us to act. In the aims that follow, we set out the essence of how we plan to respond to what we’re seeing. We then offer an initial vision of what we want to bring about as we take steps towards achieving these aims. All of this is interspersed with questions – an invitation for you to consider what these words evoke for you, and to engage with this foundational vision in a spirit of collaboration.
Our understanding of current world events is that they are the manifestation of a long-term state of crisis in the ecological, social and spiritual realms that has been unfolding for many years. As a result, the health and wellbeing of humans and all species appears to be in jeopardy and economic collapse seems all but inevitable.
Does this resonate for you? What are you seeing in your world that might indicate we are facing dangers and perils in our evolutionary journey as humans? What does the word ‘spiritual’ mean to you?
A Window of Opportunity
Many of us are also sensing at these times an unprecedented window of opportunity to radically re-evaluate and restructure our way of life. This is accompanied by a growing desire to realign ourselves with the land and with natural and universal cycles of regeneration, to restore our communal bonds, and to withdraw our consent from the structures that are destructive of life.
Do you experience a unique sense of possibility at this moment in history? Do you have a sense of something seeking to align in you? How are you connecting with the natural world and with your community at this time?
We feel there is a need to provide spaces where we can gather together in person, in community, to take the future into our own hands and to set the tone for positive change. We also need to consider ways in which we may recover from what is evidently an epidemic of burnout and overwhelm, and to address the unnecessary suffering in our midst. In all this, we sense the need to invite ways of knowing (and unknowing) that go beyond the usual approaches that are no longer adequate.
What would it look like to you to invite a collective focus on kindness, connection and gratitude? How would you name the things that deplete you? And how do you connect with what energises you? How can we think outside the box, invoking our powers of imagination and ingenuity in order to protect what we love?
Towards a New World
We believe that attending to these needs, and addressing the questions they raise, will enable us to move from fear and paralysis and to fulfill a vision of freedom, abundance and liberation for all. This will involve, amongst other things, confronting an endemic loss of power and control at the grassroots level, and activating our innate authority to discern and decide, and to act together for the good of the whole.
To build a community based on shared purpose, collective meaning-making and connection with nature through establishing one or more urban and/or land-based hubs in East Anglia.
To facilitate an ongoing inquiry into how we can move forward in ways that are increasingly regenerative and sustainable; giving priority to questions, not jumping too quickly to solutions, and seeking wisdom in the spaces between.
To evolve a culture of integrity and creativity through collective learning and unlearning, seeking common ground, establishing bonds of mutual trust, exploring the gift economy, and activating the innate goodness of human and non-human nature.
The vision set out here contains some ideas for getting started and what we hope is a good-enough-for-now structure and approach to facilitate sustained creativity and collaboration. Our intention here is to open a field of inquiry, and to put in place some foundation stones that we can stand on to support whatever may emerge as we take steps forward.
The invitation with all of it is to be playful, to conduct experiments, and to bring on board all our capacities as well as the many different approaches we have come to trust. We also want to encourage a culture of active curiosity, of living with questions and uncertainty, adopting a practical humility and allowing space for what we don't know we don't know to emerge.
We envisage establishing a hub, or perhaps multiple hubs, in this region. This may involve buying a piece of land, taking over an empty building, or other means of collectively 'sheltering in place' that we may discover as we go. The world is changing rapidly and new possibilities are coming to birth.
Given the right conditions, all living systems, including the human body, move towards wholeness and wellbeing. ‘Regeneration’ is a word being widely used in these times as we try to understand what these right conditions might look like in our social and political systems.
We plan to offer ongoing sessions, some of which will be 'core' labs that we will encourage those wanting to be actively involved to attend. In addition, any number of optional labs and educational activities can be woven in as more people bring different offerings.