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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, June 07, 2003
    Family picnic
    Not everyone whose ever contributed to Greenbelt was there, but nevertheless this afternoon Lambeth Palace gardens glimmered in the sunshine and smiles of many Greenbelt bods, past, present and ... most encouragingly ... future. Children and balloons everywhere. When current manager Beki asked us to turn to our neighbour and share what GB means to us we found it hard. Impossible to find a defining moment from so many, or a word that sums up an event which has filled our lives for so long.

    I came out with the word, "family". Family because of the generations represented today by, on one part of the lawn, Soham philosopher and GB elder John Peck and on the other, an expectant Nancy Butcher with another little one on the way very soon. And family also because many of our friendships go deep enough and are strong enough to merit that metaphor. It's all been said before so I won't go on. Suffice to say that as always I find myself emerging from a soiree with Greenbelt folk feeling affirmed, enlivened, positively challenged, resourced, wanted, amused, encouraged. And with just about enough new energy to want to get back to the grey and try to stir some colour into it.

    So busy talking I didn't complete my picnic. Ah, well, time now instead for a nice iced tea and a pack of Walkers. Thanks for today, excellent GB staff and co-workers. Thanks, kind, generous Archbishop.