Hope and Resilience in the Climate and Ecological Emergency

A retreat led by Alan Heeks and Jonathan Herbert

Friday Feb 3 – Sunday Feb 5, 2023 at Hilfield Friary, Dorset

Using material from the Christian contemplative tradition, from Joanna Macy – a Buddhist and deep ecologist,  and from Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation approach, the group will explore ways to grow through emergency. We will move from a place of gratitude to a place of lament, to a place of learning to see differently and seek inspiration to act for the common good. There will be time for listening deeply to each other, meditation, walks and space for silence.

We aim to create a safe holding space for the weekend, both within our group, and within the welcoming community of around 30 people who live at Hilfield, including five Franciscan brothers. We will keep ourselves grounded and nourished in Nature, spending quite a lot of time in the beautiful gardens and woods at Hilfield, aiming to be outdoors for sunrise and dusk when possible. We can also draw on the support of the centuries-old monastic tradition by joining some of the daily cycle of Franciscan services.

This weekend is a rare chance to explore how faith, prayer and contemplation can combine with adaptation and emotional resilience processes to help us live with and respond creatively to the climate and ecological crisis. Whilst we will be drawing mostly on the Christian tradition, people are very welcome from all faiths or none.

Alan is a writer, group leader, and social entrepreneur with a passion for well-being, resilience and learning from nature. He has been involved with Deep Adaptation since 2018, and has led many groups using this and the Work That Reconnects: see here.

Jonathan lives and leads retreats at Hilfield Community, from where he works with gypsies and travellers and is engaged in non-violent climate protest. He is an Anglican minister, formerly Warden of the Pilsdon community, with a longstanding love for the contemplative and mystical traditions.

Hilfield Friary is in a beautiful landscape in mid-Dorset: it is a thriving low-impact community, which grows much of its own food and has a biomass boiler. Our group will eat with the community, and has the chance to connect with them at meals and services. See more at www.hilfieldfriary.org.uk.

Suggested donation: £150, including food and accommodation.

For enquiries and bookings, contact Suzi at or 01300 341741.