From the Manchester area our pilgrimage continued to Knaresborough announced with the exuberance of a poster circulated by Amanda Faulkner to city Voices, inviting them to celebrate Knaresborough on the Global Stage. Amanda is not only a grad of Integral City Beyond Resilient, but also a Community Action Network with aspirations to implement Donut Ecomomics and other frameworks that will help Knaresborough utilize evaluative feedback tools as it becomes regenerative, accountable and Alive.
Amanda arranged for an invigorating tour through the city starting at the medieval Knaresborough Castle, overlooking the River Nidd from a great height viewing the sweep of the water from the railway bridge around a great bend and down the weirs as it moves east.
From the castle we walked down the escarpment to Saint Robert’s Cave where the history and traditions of the Trinitarian order he founded is remembered in the riverside cave that was Robert’s early hermitage.
The local guides then walked us to the sacred Chapel of our Lady of the Crag – a grotto carved out of the sandstone crag (guarded by an imposing stone Knight) and holding a statue of Mary and the Babe – which we observed was visited by a steady flow of pilgrims.
As we strolled through the town Amanda proudly showed us the Hive location (just down the way from the Market Cross which relates the long history of this city marker) that is to become the centre for Knaresborough – a Human Hive as an Integral Living City – something that will become the new normal for children of all the 4 Voices of the City.
Before arriving for dinner with Knareborough’s 4 Voices, Sue Cooper and I were given an extensive tour of the Allotment by proud horticulturist Geoff. We happily sampled abundant harvests of gooseberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries, early plums – and viewed the harvest of a local gardener that included beautiful cauliflower, beans, potatoes, leeks, onions, lettuce. It was clear that many delicious meals were destined to be enjoyed by these over 70 allotment holders (plus another 50 on nearby land).
Amanda had invited her neighbours, colleagues and friends to share their love of their city – as they personally navigated us about the city – such veritable “vessels” of pride and regeneration that I declared that I needed a flotation device to keep myself afloat.
That was readily supplied at the evening gathering (in a beautiful church facility in the town centre with kitchen, eating space and meeting room). While adults (from all the 4 Voices of the City) enjoyed the reflections and appreciations shared by Sue Cooper and Marilyn Hamilton in the downstairs space, children enjoyed their own “Feastival” with food and games upstairs.
Marilyn admired Knaresborough’s strong energy for change – which she had witnessed with every engagement and stop about the city – virtually following the Integral City Maps. We saw in action the bio-psycho-cultural-systemic ase. The 4 Voices were all present in the evening gathering. Already they had been exploring the themes that citizens were keen to explore and develop – economy, education, transportation, tourism and many more. But more importantly the 4 Voices were already active in envisioning a new future for Knaresborough (as it becomes decoupled from Harrogate’s regional direction) – one that embraces its rich history and traditions, while recalibrating life for humans and nature – that offers the next generations hope and potential – Amanda calls that an adventure for Earth Punks!!
Our parting time in Knaresborough returned us to Amanda’s allotment where we enjoyed mint tea from her garden and connected Amanda (and Shan Oakes our gracious B&B hostess) to the Gathering of the Graceful Warriors (painting by Alison Knox) – thus making a bridge between the Nottinghamshire and Manchester Monastery with the delightful calling of this Gathering from the Subtle Realms – that holds such inspiration and promise for all the intentions Knaresborough holds to become an Integral Living City with its own Hive, alive with the 4 Voices of the City living the Master Code of Care – caring for person, people, place and planet.