May  2013

Dear Friends,
Rev. Alicia and I take it in turns to initiate this monthly Newsletter. It is my turn this month, however I already know Rev. Alicia has some news about our progress registering with the Charity Commission. Her piece follows this 'editors' letter.

Our new logo and banner crept into last month's Newsletter without thanking Eric Jones and acknowledging his work  Many thanks Eric and thanks for being willing for this photograph to be published here. Don't we look jolly! 
In my spare moments I have been inserting the logo into our Facebook page and Twitter page too. However, try as I may I have not been able to format the banner to fit into our Facebook page unfortunately. Our website is very much a work-in-progress too. My sense is that elements of this whole endevour will come together - the website, Charity Commission business, finding a suitable property, perhaps find a volunteer web developer. And finding sufficient funding which is of course is an ever present matter.

I (we) live in faith knowing that both of us have monastic responsibilities and doing the work to move Field of Merit forward has to fit in around those responsibilities. Somewhere in our literature is the teaching, Do not miss the steps in between! Sometimes there can be a tendency to rush from one step to the next thinking doing that will keep up a momentum. And that indeed can be true, or appear to be true. However the steps in between are potent moments when new perspectives can fly in or unwise steps can be corrected and the project redirected. As we go on I can only see this as a constant and dynamic tension between getting on with it and allowing those uncomfortable times of nothing much happening. Allowing for un-clarity to be there and yes, uncertainty, to be there too. The tag line on Adrienne's blog, The Merit of Walking, is I have arrived, I am home, my destination in each step! is timeless wisdom worth returning to very often I think.
Written by Mugo

Eat Your Greens!
By Mugo

As I write the sun is calling me out to walk along the river bank and appreciate the lush growth to be found there - and to harvest carefully selected leaves. In recent days I have been venturing to eat Dandelion leaves, along with cabbage leaves, as my meal time greens. They are especially good to eat at this time of year and said to be cleansing for the system.They are tasty too.

I have been corresponding with a lay woman over in Leeds who has an allotment. She is happiness itself picking produce and eating it. Sorrel, she says has a lemony flavour and I well remember it from childhood days wandering across the fields and having a nibble. Uncooked not so good, as soup - wonderful! I in turn introduced her to Dandelion leaves and today I'll be picking young Nettle leaves to go with the Dandelion. Why this interest in nature's offering? Well, given the time and opportunity I too would be tending a patch of earth with a view to eating what is produced there. I tend to think it will be quite some time before that is possible to do. In the mean time I will forage in the fields and hedgerows around where I am.

There is no better time to remember not to get ahead of where I am and dream myself into that yet to be discovered 'field'. And even then who knows if there will be time and opportunity to get my hands dirty. In the mean time onwards to the task at hand which is copy-typing the text for our revised articles of association. Who would have thought there was so much detail around simply calling an AGM or so many clauses around procedures to do with who chairs a meeting! Is this far away from the river bank or field? I think not, after all none of us can afford, either spiritually or practically to miss the steps in between! And what is more none of us knows where our walking on will take us.

Becoming a Registered Charity
By Alicia

I am working on getting registered charity status for Field of Merit. We submitted the online application in March. The Charity Commission replied to say that they would like to see a business plan, and that after that they would like us to change our governing document – the articles of association – to their model, rather than the Companies House model that we had adopted.
As you will know from the last Newsletter, and from my post A Plan, the business plan got written, with help from friends, and was submitted in April. We recently heard from the Charity Commission that they are happy with our plan and we have begun work on drawing up a new governing document.
So, it seems it will be a while, and quite a bit of work still to do, until we achieve registered charity status, but there are at least two good reasons for doing this. I think the main one is that registered charities have a certain standing in the UK that gives donors confidence in the integrity of the organisation – many grant-giving bodies will only give to registered charities. The other good reason is the financial advantages to us in the form of freedom from certain forms of taxation on income, and the contributions we will receive under the Gift Aid scheme.
So, we will persevere!

Here are links to this month's posts on Field of Merit website:

Not Second Hand Living

I’m deriving vicarious pleasure from Adrienne’s walk. I’ve walked alongside her these past months as she prepared herself. I’ve done a couple of training walks to show solidarity and in a few days time I’ll be actually walking on the coastal path for one day with her. And Rev. Alicia … Continue reading

Dear Friend, You are receiving this email because you followed a link on or website and opted in to receiving our newsletter.  We hope you find this project of interest and of benefit. With Bows, Mugo and Alicia

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Rev. Alicia
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