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News from Manna Gum

 

The view from St. Ninian's Cave, Whithorn, Scotland.

Over June/July, the Cornford family had six weeks in the UK, visiting family, searching out some family history and seeing the sights. Jonathan then stayed on for an extra week to make some connections and look into some options for a possible future study trip.

Spending this extended period in another country provided a very valuable comparison point on the state of our own, both positively and negatively. We were there at the time of the Brexit vote, which was particularly turbulent and quite revealing. British society is strained by many of the same tensions as Australia: economic uncertainty, xenophobic angst and a huge social gap between the affluent, educated classes and the economically precarious and politically disenfranchised. There is widespread disaffection and cynicism about the failing structures of democracy. The quality of political debate in the UK, although far from healthy, is a few notches higher than our own.

The British church is substantially more advanced in thinking through some of the political and economic implications of Christian faith and has a strong and continuous heritage to draw upon. By comparison, we draw most of our ideas and inspiration about such things from overseas; but then again, perhaps we are still drawing most of our religious inspiration per se, from overseas. The topsoil of Christian faith in Australia is very thin indeed. However, as in Australia, the British church is highly fragmented.

In August, we held the book launch for Coming Back to Earth at TEAR Australia, at which National Director, Matthew Maury, spoke. TEAR has been a wonderful partner and platform for Manna Gum's message over the years, for which we are very grateful. You can order copies of Coming Back to Earth here.

At the beginning of September, Kim led a Home Economy Weekend with students from Whitley College. Assisted by the fantastic skills of Janet Ray and Meg Holmes, a group of young adults were introduced to a range of home economy arts that many had never done before: bread making, pasta making, vegie gardening, compost making, bottling, cheese making etc.

Don't forget, the A Different Way week is running in November - see here for details.

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