We asked Sam to write about her week at Foxearth Meadows.
Hello! My name is Samantha Sieber and I am an ordinand at Ridley Hall in Cambridge. Being an ordinand means that I am training to be a vicar – which is both exciting and daunting! For part of our training, we have to do a Social Context Placement or SCP. We have to spend time with a Christian organization that is not a church and learn from them about all they do.
I have always been passionate about the environment but in the last five years I have been doing my best to live it out in my every day and recently, it has been such a joy to realize how much God is the heart behind my love for the planet. Being passionate about looking after our planet is not always an easy task and sometimes I can feel as though I am the only one in my church, friendship group, family, or community that wants to really work towards a better planet every day.
This feeling of isolation in my passion for the planet was one of the reasons I was so excited about spending time with A Rocha UK at Foxearth Meadows. Spending a week meeting so many lovely people who are Christians and also really care for our planet has been such a life-giving encouragement to me.
During my week I was privileged to be hosted by Andy, Jane and Ruth Jowitt. I was welcomed as part of their family and got to spend time with them being hopeful as well as sharing our concerns for the earth. I was also fortunate to spend time with Maureen (the previous owner of the reserve). I got to hear the wonderful story of how God led her, and her late husband Keith, to the reserve as well as other pieces of land wanting them to look after the land.
While it was a non-church placement I was able to meet two different churches in the area who are working on their Eco-Church awards (*) and I was inspired by all the work they have put into making their churches places that reflect their care for creation. In addition to this, I was able to meet with several other people connected to the reserve and to A Rocha UK, hearing their stories of how their love for God and for the earth overlap in so many glorious ways.
All of the above time was informative, helpful, and lovely but my favourite part of my week was the time I spent on the reserve itself. With COVID-19 the amount of time I was able to spend was not what we had all hoped it could be. That being said, I was able to be part of a Friday work party as well as spend a day with Mark Prina, learning from him about the reserve, all the work that goes into it, and why he is so passionate about his faith and the earth.
I am so thankful for my week. I left feeling encouraged and like I am now part of the community at Foxearth Meadows. Thank you all for your time and energy you put into hosting me and I will see you again soon!
(*) St Mary’s, Bures (C of E) and St John’s Methodist Church, Sudbury.
Thank you to all who gave their time to meet with Sam.