In 2023 the south-facing, sun-drenched curtilage of the church has become a new Grow Space featuring The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) growing on the railings. Many cultures have a version of this staple food combination, which sustainably provides carbohydrates, protein and vitamins/minerals.
To explore sustainable futures by attuning to food-wisdom, including the long traditions of these islands, exposing how agricultural colonisation has excluded people from their lands and disrupted the web of life.
To tune into the wisdom of indigenous peoples, learning from those who celebrate the sacredness of the Earth and the kinship of all beings.
To see the Divine immanent in all things, underpinned by re-reading of sacred texts and theological insight.
Our new food and growing project on the sunny south side of the church launched on Sunday 19th March after the 11.00am Eucharist. Many people took home seeds to grow too.
The GROW BOX, formerly home to the Daily Bread wheat crop and a profusion of AFTERMATH ‘weeds’, has become a perennial polyculture featuring plants such as barley, flax, and Celtic bean that have grown in these islands, alongside plants such as sea buckthorn, dogrose and wild garlic that thrive in the wild, and species like cardoon that will be valuable in a hotter future. We’ve also sown The Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash), long grown by indigenous Americans. Join us to build partnerships and ecozoic culture through growing, online materials and events.
How can we begin to repair the damage done to our food system by industrial agriculture?
What will we grow and eat in the climate-changed future?
What wisdom will help us return to a gentler, more relational way of being with other species?
Visit our blog over the coming months as our garden grows and we explore the stories we tell ourselves.
The ‘Food the Ecozoic’ project is inspired by prophetic and revolutionary voices wherever we find them, especially indigenous peoples and plants who have long lived sustainably together in the places they find themselves, as an integral part of planet Earth.
Penelope Turton asks what Christians in rich countries should be doing about the climate crisis.
Diane Pacitti explores the historical revolutionary ideas of Gerrard Winstanley and the contemporary relevance of indigenous voices in addressing environmental crises.
Diane Pacciti introduces the radical vision of John Ball, the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, and the Diggers and Levellers communities in the 17th century.
Joan Ishibashi shares the importance of the Three Sisters in American farming and food – maize, beans and squash.
We celebrate St Francis as the saint who radically re-imagined our relationship
with the earth and the cosmos.
In June, the Food For The Ecozoic Grow Box is finally taking off! The season has been a salutary reminder that agricultural/horticultural food production is not straightforward.
Deborah Colvin, Church Warden and Eco Team member, talks about St James’s new growing project ‘Food for the Ecozoic’.
Londoners, gather here
and be still.
The restless electricity of your minds
needs to be earthed
here, in this patch of soil
in the city’s concrete heart.
With cupped hands
receive your envelope of seed-lives;
wonder at this green shoot.
Both are your tiny passports to a time
when Neolithic Londoners
Into earth they cleared from forest.
These plant-lives connect you through time;
connect you over continents
to deft hands delving, wrinkled palms patting
back the soil; a child’s fingers touching
the miracle of a seedling;
to hands both powerful and frail emerging
anointed with the life-stuff
which brings forth plant and bird, human and fly:
you will receive a communion of hope
you will know that through time and space
we are kin.
Diane Pacitti, 2023
A Triumph of Delights was a month long festival in October 2021 in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow, providing a variety of spaces to gather in solidarity, and to celebrate the beauty and fragility of our common home.
Daily Bread is a community wheat-growing project connecting city-dwellers with food production, engaging with ecological and environmental concerns and exploring humanity’s 10,000 year relationship with wheat.
Aftermath is an ongoing collaborative community project lead by the Eco Team. In 1940 St James’s was badly bomb-damaged. 42 species of ‘weeds’ grew in the nave. We grew the weeds again in the aftermath of Covid, asking what they have to teach us.