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

    Monday, September 06, 2004
    Building the city of peace

    One of the most popular and celebrated bits of Greenbelt 04 turned out to be Sanctuary's City of peace. Simple idea (the best ones always are): they invited Greenbelters to build a city for God using the craft materials provided.

    The result was a colourful cardboard and crepe city of peace; people's place-dreams placed on the floor of a racecourse concourse, gathered together to witness to hope, creativity, fun, contemplation, aspiration. Like so much at Greenbelt, on the surface the project looked like play school; the deeper value lay in the title of the thing and how people resonated with that and responded to it.

    Today I noticed the bulldozers have moved in swiftly on our transitional estate during my time away, wondered how the present wasteland will be transformed over the next few months and what the first show house will look like, feared for the appearance of more half-conceived top-down constructions, hoped for the future of the people (likely me included) who'll be moving onto the Boot Estate in the coming years, wished that in the planning process we could have had a Sanctuary-style happening here.