Full Circle - Othona Wide Newsletter
Full Circle is the newsletter of the Othona Community and is issued three times a year.
The upcoming issue is Spring 2012 and will be available here, in full, shortly.
Below is the report by Othona West Dorset's warden which will appear in the Spring 2012 issue:
Burton Bradstock Report by Tony Jaques
"Meeting honestly and living generously”. A telling phrase from the informal ‘Rule of Life’ for core members here in Dorset. But in our experience of community, of course, it’s others who demonstrate these gifts quite as often as we do! Look at the candour with which our visitors open up to strangers – well, strangers they were until a few hours or days ago. And not only open up to speak their own experience. Listen attentively too, not seeking to grab the limelight (“Oh, me too…”) or to rush in and try to ‘fix’ the other person (“Well, you know what you should do…”) All part of meeting honestly, I’d say.
Living generously is the lifeblood of community too. The generosity of Mark Tocknell who recently fitted a whole new kitchen for us in the Lodge as a volunteer (ably assisted by our Hugh, I should add). On a different scale, I think of Olive Peat – who died in November – whose anonymous giving made possible both the oak floor and heating in the chapel and a lot of pastoral support over the last decade. And consistently over the years the voluntary input by members of our committee and task teams, supporting and advising me and the core in more ways than I could possibly mention here. In these unflashy ways Othona is a monument to voluntary effort – done for love. To meet honestly and live generously offers us all a heartening counterbalance in a society addicted to appearance more than substance, to grasping more than giving.
I often wonder what ‘people news’ to include in these articles. Last time I mentioned our colleague Jane, who’s been on sick leave since July. I’m glad to say the news is good – she’s responded well to cancer treatment and sends her thanks to many people for their thoughts and prayers. We lost one of our real elder stateswomen with the death of Aphra Brett shortly after she’d visited us in the autumn; on 23rd April there will be a celebration of Aphra’s life in chapel and a tree-planting in her memory.
While most people had snow in January we only saw a day or two of iced puddles. But that was enough for my partner Robin to slip and break her knee-cap, so her leg’s been in a splint for the last month. The upside of this has been all the development work Robin’s been able to put in on our website – some of it obvious e.g. in the increased visual elements, some behind the scenes but vital to achieve ‘search engine optimisation’, without which the loveliest website may languish for lack of new visitors.
In January we enjoyed a couple of new programme items. One was an away weekend for volunteers and workers who run the Alternatives organisation based at St James’ Church Piccadilly – a great resource for personal growth and world spirituality. The other was The Great Big Tidy – which attracted a small but gallant band of people who like bringing order out of chaos. It was a sort of spring-clean-plus I suppose and a lot of fun as well as hard work. Fancy giving it a try next year?
Deputy warden Shaun and I bunked off the last days of the Tidy to attend a pivotal weekend in Kent, with trustees and representatives of both Othona centres. You’ll read of its detailed outcomes and the structural changes afoot, elsewhere in Full Circle.
Let me say that I and many others supported the idea – as a ‘neater’, more appropriate, future for Othona – of two independent charities in federation. After a process of conscientious discernment this is not what the trustees decided on. But the changes that are being made give each centre a considerable measure of autonomy. I believe they are a great step forward and can help equip us for ‘surviving and thriving’ in our different ways.
One upshot of these changes is a renewal of our committee and task teams (as mentioned in paragraph two). We hope many who already belong to these will be able to continue, but this is also a great time for new faces. And so we are inviting people like you to ask yourself “Do I have the interest… and time… and skills to maybe join in, at some level, with support for the daily management of Othona West Dorset?” I won’t take up space here listing all the aspects of this work. (There is more about it on our website at present.) I will just say that I and two of our trustees are responsible for convening the new arrangements. Any one of us would be glad to hear from you – by the end of April please – if you want to offer yourself, recommend someone else, or just to know more.
Pat Price-Tomes (trustee)
email@example.com 020 8674 8334
Bob Whorton (trustee)
firstname.lastname@example.org 736 342
Tony Jaques (warden)
email@example.com 01308 897 130
Click here to download this report.
Community House at Othona West Dorset