Trevor Sharman lives in Ealing in West London and loves living in the diverse bustle of a great city and also spending as much time as he can in countryside. After working for many years in social work and community development he now does what he likes. He likes to grow some of his own food in his nearby allotment and is a former holder of The Bill Green Cup for mixed salading, a career highpoint! He still works with community organisations and has helped initiate a Transition Town initiative in Ealing He has been involved in Be The Change and The Work That Reconnects, training as a facilitator in awareness raising about the need for a transition to a sustainable way of living and engaging with the sense of sacredness of life. He claims that he is “… still re-training to become an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilled human presence on Earth.” Trevor has been involved with GreenSpirit for some years, having been a participant in a ‘Co-operative Enquiry’ into living in a sacred way with other GreenSpirits and having been knocked out with David Abram’s books and talks and Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry’s work.
Hilary Norton lives in East London. Her four children are grown up but apart from one son (with family) in Japan, they live nearby. She loves being in the east end, and cycles to work in Tower Hamlets as an advisory teacher for ICT and Special Needs, helping kids with their learning, mostly using specialised computer equipment and software.Hilary believes strongly in making cities greener places to be, so supports the London Wildlife Trust, Woodcraft Folk, sustainable architecture, allotment gardening and local Green initiatives. She sings in a local community choir, grows veggies, fruit and flowers on her allotment. She periodically becomes a Tudor for 16th century re-enactment, through the medium of her alter ego, ‘Etty’ who works in the woolshed on the Manor of Kentwell Hall, spinning and weaving. Hilary says: “I love this because it is a place where many young people learn ancient crafts (e.g. cheese making, basket weaving, bee keeping, spinning, turning etc) and perpetuate them.”
Hilary has played a key role in GreenSpirit since the mid 1990s. As well as serving on Council, she runs a local GreenSpirit group in Stratford and organises both the annual GreenSpirit walking holiday/retreat and ‘Wild Week’ in Snowdonia.
Joan Angus was brought up in Yorkshire at the foot of the Hambledon hills, went to an Anglican Convent School, and worked as an Occupational Therapist mainly in Hampshire, where she raised her family. She is now a grandmother of four. A country girl at heart, her passions are her dog, wildlife, gardening, writing and sewing. She regularly goes circle dancing, and practises Tai Chi. Joan has researched her family history, and has started writing a novel based on this.
She says: “I became hooked on GreenSpirit at the Leicester conference in 2004 where David Abram was the speaker. The movement and all it stands for fulfils my spiritual needs, and gives me the opportunity to be with like-minded people who speak my language.”
As well as serving on the Council as Secretary, Joan helps to run GreenSpirit’s Annual Gatherings.
Ian Mowll is GreenSpirit’s Administrator and many people’s first point of contact with the organization. It is a role that he loves. Ian’s career started with computing in the financial markets, followed by charity/social enterprise work and now he is more and more involved in spiritual development.
Some of the things he loves to do are: playing his bass guitar, cooking, storytelling, 5 rhythms dancing and having mad ideas. He lives in Stratford, East London.
Ian has been involved in GreenSpirit since 1999 and sees it as his spiritual home. He says: “Finding GreenSpirit was the first time I found somewhere where I truly felt I could be spiritually ‘me’ without having to pretend. When joining GreenSpirit, occasionally people use the phrase ‘welcome home’ – a phrase that feels good to me.” He is also involved with the Interfaith Foundation and an independent celebrant.
Piers Warren is a wildlife film-maker and author living in rural Norfolk. He has walked the African plains with Maasai Warriors, tracked tigers in India on elephant-back, explored the Amazon rainforest, swum with sharks, trekked across Tanzanian deserts on a camel and filmed cheetahs hunting in Kenya. But his favourite place is the North Norfolk coast, where he spends his time capturing the flora and fauna on film … and looking for pawprints in the sand. His careers have included school teacher, sound engineer, musician, tree surgeon, multimedia producer, and wildlife film-making tutor. He has written books and many magazine articles on a wide range of subjects.
Piers is well known throughout the wildlife film-making industry as the Principal of WILDEYE – The International School of Wildlife Film-making – which he created in 1999. With a strong background in biology, education and conservation, he has had a lifelong passion for wildlife films and has a wide knowledge of natural history. He is one of the founders of the international organisation Filmmakers for Conservation and is also Director of the Wildeye Conservation Film Festival which is held at the University of East Anglia every two years.
Piers has run a smallholding in Norfolk, UK and is keen to promote organic principles, sustainability and green-thinking. He has had a passionate interest in self-sufficiency since childhood and is still based in Norfolk where he grows his own food. He believes a combination of science and spirituality is necessary for the continuation of life on Earth.
June Raymond is a Notre Dame sister who spent most of her life as an English teacher. Then she spent two years on the Isle of Erraid, a Findhorn community in the Hebrides, where she lived Green Spirituality and learnt about it from the inside. Now she lives near Liverpool and works as a healer and therapist using Bach Flower remedies and teaching them to new practitioners. She also runs workshops and gives talks on various subjects. June has been involved with GreenSpirit for many years and a member of the Council since the mid 90s. She enjoys being involved in the annual gatherings but because of the distance doesn’t often get down to London events.
She particularly likes to be involved with our spirituality and is one of the editors of the GreenSpirit magazine. She loves being part of a group of inspiring and like minded people. One of her regular activities is attending local Newman Society lectures. She has been particularly inspired by the writings of Thomas Berry and has edited a book of meditations using quotations from his work.
Stephen Wollaston was born in the Eastend of London. He was given the name Santoshan (meaning ‘contentment’) by a swami of the Bihar School of Yoga, and has a creative background as a spiritual writer, graphic designer, artist and musician. He was the principle bass guitarist of one of London’s first Punk Rock bands, The Wasps, and is the author and coauthor of several books on spiritual matters, including Spirituality Unveiled: Awakening to Creative Life (Earth Books 2011), The House of Wisdom: Yoga Spirituality of the East and West (Mantra Books 2007) and Realms of Wondrous Gifts: Psychic, Mediumistic and Miraculous Powers in the Great Mystical and Wisdom Traditions (revised Smashwords/ebook edition 2012).
A mystical experience influenced him when he was 19. He later did a degree in Religious Studies and a post graduate certificate in Religious Education at King’s College London and studied Psychosynthesis Psychology. He also helped to establish The Gordon Higginson Fellowship and coauthored two popular books (The Spirit World in Plain English and Spirit Gems) with a long-time friend, medium and former Benedictine monk, Glyn Edwards.
Stephen has a deep interest in creative, yogic and Nature/Eco and Earth centred spiritualities and prefers to have no labels, unless it be ‘Integral Non-dualist’ or ‘Creation Centred Universalist’. Teachers who have influence him include the historical Buddha, Matthew Fox and Sri Aurobindo. He also has an interest in some aspects of Ken Wilber’s writings and the historical beginnings of early Christianity.
Chris Holmes’s conversion to a green ethos was gradual but thorough. He worked for nearly three decades in the financial markets , and as Director of a large City institution was instrumental in the introduction and development of ‘green’ investment funds – one of the few activities he feels good about during this period! Since leaving the financial sector in the mid 1990s he has spent his time in voluntary work and developing a range of eco-related interests.
His hobbies include working three organic allotment plots, walking, running, natural bodybuilding, tennis, playing guitar and banjo, the Christian contemplative tradition and retreat movement, local history and the poetry of John Clare. Chris is married to Jill, also a ‘greenspiriter’, and lives in Surrey. He has been involved with GreenSpirit for 12 years and on the Council for most of that time. He says: “It is home for me emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. I feel blessed to be part of this movement.” He is also involved with the Green Party, Garden Organic, the John Clare Society, the Thomas Merton Society among others.
Alan Whear’s lifelong passions are for amateur music-making (he is a keen harmony singer and melodeon player) and for woodwork. For 35 years he had a musical instrument building and repair business and made the replica piano for Jane Campion’s film ‘The Piano’.
Since retiring after a stroke, he has been working at a wood recycling venture, making bespoke items from reclaimed timber. He is a member of his local Friends of the Earth, and although he is less involved in committee work, he gets more of a ‘hands on’ experience with wood recycling.
Alan says: “My spirituality is rooted in a sense of joy, admiration, and above all celebration of the Universe, warts and all. My first contact with GreenSpirit was enjoying creating ritual with the Ascot group in the 1990s. The abiding feeling is one of having found a ‘spiritual home’ and of inclusion. I look forward to helping spread the GreenSpirit message.”
Formerly a transpersonal psychotherapist/workshop leader/health educator with an MA in East-West Psychology, Marian Van Eyk McCain officially ‘retired’ in 1996 to concentrate on her writing. She is the author of seven books and editor of the anthology GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness. As well as writing essays and articles on a wide range of subjects, including include wellness, stress-management, psychology, women’s health and aging, green spirituality, organic food production, simple living and alternative technology, Marian is also a blogger, a columnist for ‘Crone’ Magazine, Editor of the ‘Elderwoman Newsletter’ and co-Editor of the ‘GreenSpirit Journal.’ She runs a local writers group and an online social network for elderwomen. Her other interests are Permaculture, hiking, reading, word games and travel.
Marian lives in North Devon with her American partner Sky and spends part of each year in Europe and the USA. They have four children and eight grandchildren. She has been a member of GreenSpirit for many years. Her main website is www.elderwoman.org
Like many others in GreenSpirit, Emanuela Marchiori had a ‘green’ childhood. She was born in Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region of northern Italy, where her family had lived for many generations, and she describes her early years as living through the end of an era. “There were still fields and farms,” she says. “Fields with grapevines and fruit trees and corn for polenta. But they were also building roads, houses, factories. I caught just the end of a world that had been more or less the same since at least the time of the Romans and probably before, and yet it changed so fast. My aunt used to take me around the fields and show me which plants were edible. I remember one of them in particular; she called it ‘pane e vino’ (bread and wine). You chewed the stem and it tasted like bread and wine. Now it is all cement and shops and the farms and that way of life and most of the local dialect has gone.”
Emanuela came to live in Reading fifteen years ago and works at Reading International Solidarity Centre. RISC is a Development Education Centre which works with schools and community groups to raise the profile of global issues and promote action for sustainability, human rights and social justice. She is an active member of the local GreenSpirit group and joined Council in 2013.
Richard Adams has a longstanding interest in appropriate technology, education and holistic herbal medicine. He helped to establish Europe’s first BSc Honours degree in Herbal Medicine. Richard lives and practises Herbal Medicine in London, England. He enjoys hill walking, music making and the theatre.
In response to his heartfelt need to think differently, from his conditioned thinking, about the natural world, he is exploring an earth centred consciousness that engages people’s hearts and minds, creatively, with Mother Nature. He finds that new values, morals and ethics emerge from such adventures which, in turn, inform his actions in the world.
Richard first came across GreenSpirit in the mid 1990s at St.James’s Church ,Piccadilly, London, when informally researching the life of William Blake. He finds GreenSpirit to be a stimulating and nurturing community that engages with issues relevant to the human and other than human communities.