30 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 1 comments.

Oak - the gift of true community

One of the great icons of the British landscape, the Oak casts a giant shadow. Whether standing alone or in ancient woodland, there is an undeniable majesty about this creature who provides food, shelter and habitat for hundreds of other species. And yet here Oak rarely reaches her full potential. To see exactly how impressively they can grow you need to visit the The Białowieża Forest World Heritage site, where deep woodland has been allowed to establish unchecked for centuries. More ...

29 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 0 comments.

Palm Sunday - the rocks cry out

Next year will be the five hundredth anniversary of her arrival on planet Earth, and yet this period – so many generations of humans – is a tiny fraction of her existence. She is not merely older than anything living on Earth, she is as old as Earth itself. She is an alien presence come among us from outer space and you can go and see her. You can even touch her. More ...

28 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 1 comments.

Chicken of the Woods - looking at the heart

There are many species of bracket fungi and, unsurprisingly, they have some things in common. Some of them are given rather unattractive names like “Ash heart rot”, “Beech heart rot”, “Top Rot”, “Butt Rot”...you get the idea. It is enough to make anyone feel a bit quesy. But who can resist a smile when they first encounter this flamboyant creature, the Sulphur Polypore, also known as “Chicken of the Woods”? More ...

27 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 2 comments.

Adder - facing our depths

I was 25 and, uncertain about my future, had gone to stay for a week at Hilfield Friary, the mother house of the (Anglican) Society of St Francis, in Dorset. It was high Summer and, following the Guest brother’s suggestion, on one particularly bright still day I walked from there to Cerne Abbas, a distance of about 5 miles. More ...

26 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 1 comments.

Fox - awareness of self and environment

Some creatures are so iconic, and so well-documented, that it seems a bit more than cheeky to attempt a short chapter on them. Fox is one such, and yet how could I not? Her absence would be an affront to a creature who deserves incredible respect and understanding. And, in the course of writing this book, on 4th October 2014 - the very day when the first gathering of our Forest Church took place - a Fox quite literally crossed my path. More ...

25 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 0 comments.

Common Orb Weaver - entrusting the future to God

As you may have realised, the challenge in writing this book lay not in finding 40 native species but in choosing which ones. Very early in the project I determined not to choose but to allow creatures to choose themselves. This one appeared unexpectedly in the base of a bird feeder I was about to fill and remained there for at least two weeks. Writing in October meant that I saw several, but I had not known the proper name for them, or the fact that the Orb Weavers are a large group comprising three and a half thousand species. More ...

24 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 0 comments.

Kingfisher - setting our eyes upon the goal

What must it be like to make yourself a dart, plunging with the force of earth's gravity, upon a single silvery point in the water below? For an instant you are poised, hanging in air, weightless, and time stands still. Then, with a gathering rush of wind, it is though the world suddenly collapses, contracted in, every muscle held tight as the drop begins. More ...

23 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 0 comments.

Mayfly - celebrating all we have

Rules are not there simply to be obeyed, or just to be broken for that matter. They are in place to facilitate something. Some of the most impressive art arises because of some restriction placed on the artist, and some of the most interesting innovation can come about when the artist pushes the boundaries of a form. More ...

22 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 1 comments.

Earthworm - the suffering servant

Earthworms are the world's unsung heroes. They loosen, mix up and aerate the soil, break down and recycle decaying plant matter, and make nutrients available to plants and fungi by bringing them closer to the surface. More ...

21 March 2015 a post by Dan Papworth. 0 comments.

Mole - the power of solitude and reticence

Tunnelling is what makes Mole both famous and infamous: up to 20 metres per day and producing numerous instantly recognisable earth mounds. This earth is actually very good for potting plants and their work aerates the soil, but it is rare to find a gardener who welcomes them. We were there when one first arrived in the garden of our last house and, five years on, she has outlasted us. More ...

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Forest Church Tweets

@ashwcampus Forest Church Harrow Weald HA36DQ 3pm this Sunday - song, craft activity, stories and fire-toasted hotcross buns - all welcome
20 Mar

Celebrating the creation and the creator with friends and our school chaplain at the first ever Forest Church! Fab! pic.twitter.com/hT0VYbqhla
20 Mar

Forest Church on the #SteyningDownland - wild, woolly - it’s church but not as we know it (Jim) pic.twitter.com/JEYRtVp1dK
20 Mar