PDC Chester: D1 The first supper

Turning problem into solutions begins with thoughtful observation

Turning problem into solutions begins with thoughtful observation


Not your normal classroom

Not your normal classroom! We are thrilled to running the first ever PDC in Chester Cathedral’s 1000 year history; we are also wondering has anyone else, anywhere actually run a PDC in a Cathedral? We are rather excited and proud of that possibility!

We have 12 participants, interesting number for the ecclesiastical surrounds and as we sat down to our soup and sandwiches, it struck that this counts as the first supper! I will have to put aside all the potential religions puns and metaphors because I don’t want to devalue what I see is going on here, it is profoundly interesting to be here and I am genuinely excited to be invited to teach this course at the cathedral. I Really hope that our presence here can help develop a very fruitful beneficial relationship between permaculture and the work of the Church.

Main stream religion in the UK seems to have lost its connection to its core audience. To many minds the ideas behind what drives it have become a bit empty and meaningless, relative to what it meant when this great Cathedral was in its heyday.

For so many people now the Anglican Church might still in some way be at the heart of what defines us here in Britain, yet collectively we pay little or no heed or attention beyond the odd wedding and funeral. And lets face weddings and funeral are becoming increasingly diverse in their nature.

None of this means that the Church doesn’t have a vital role to play in our society, but going forward, like all of us, it is challenged to find new ways to deploy its resources to stay relevant with the needs of the times. I also don’t presume to know anything about Chester Cathedral and its ups and downs, I hasten to add but I do see the long terms trends across the land. Here in Wales we have a whole country full of either abandoned or converted chapels and bethels repurposed as the tide of religious fervour in Wales receded.


First supper together for the Chester PDC group

Permaculture design uses design to turn problems into solutions.

Here below is Dr Albert Bartlett giving a now famous lecture on exponential growth function and why our obsession with growth in our economy is really not a good thing.


Here is American permaculture teacher Toby Hemmenway discussing how permaculture can save the world but not civilisation. This is really interesting and thought provoking stuff put in a very clear and informed way.

We will follow this course with a blog post each session, with support videos and other resources.

And finally, Masanobu Fukuoka the Japanese rice farmer who started a one straw revolution with his natural farming methods

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