On Field Day, a group of thirty students and staff worked to clear and conserve Bede’s Copse on Sharpenhurst Hill. The copse was planted 25 years ago to mark the death of Old Blue Dom Bede Griffiths, the famous spiritual leader who promoted inter-faith dialogue with his Christian Ashram in India. Bede’s nephew His Honour Judge David Griffiths joined the team and shared with the students stories about his uncle. The team collected several bags of rubbish and extracted the original plastic tree guards. They were also given a lesson in hedge-laying by local craftsman Gary ‘The Hedgehog’ Moore.
The planting of the copse was the idea of Chris Cullen, who taught English at CH between 1990 and 1997. Chris now heads the Oxford Mindfulness Institute and teaches mindfulness to undergraduates and to MPs in the House of Commons. Chris visited the newly cleared copse and in the evening gave a lecture on how to respond mindfully to the climate crisis. His core message: we need to connect with nature, community and the needs of our own mind/body in order to respond effectively to the ecological challenges of our age.