Vision of Glastonbury - June2020
Here we want to look at Glastonbury in June2020 - and what progress has been made in realising the original vision as seen in 1985 - see the relevent page of Glastonbury Vision 1985
Glastonbury Vision 2004 - is a private, unpublished paper that gives interesting outline of what were then perceived as the resources, and the progress made in achieving them
We are writing this in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Below we give a summary of where we were at before the virus broke out – what will eventually emerge is still far from clear.
Considerable progress has been made in realising the original vision – but we still do not have a vision shared by the whole town – that is a vision of Glastonbury, not only has a thriving market town, but also as an internationally recognised centre of spiritual transformation. Perhaps that is an important objective for the next 15 years !
The Broad Vision in 2004
Glastonbury is emerging as an internationally known spiritual centre. A model of a new way of living appropriate to the early 21st century. This is a place that will draw people in search of their own spiritual understanding and a place where people can live in a community of people who share the same values but not the same beliefs.
Its full potential is twofold:
- A centre of pilgrimage with full support for visiting pilgrims
- A community sharing the experience of living a life of the spirit.
The entries below are given in alphabetical order and the following formats
- The Service required – as seen in 2004
- Details of the Service
- Situation in 2020
FACILITIES REQUIRED BY RESIDENT AND VISITING PILGRIMS
- Most people find their own houses or flats to buy or rent.
- Need temporary help with B&B accommodation when they first arrive
- There are enough B&B’s, houses and flats – there is no also useful addition hotel rooms
Arts and Crafts
- Need help with studios, marketing and marketing advice
- A number of organisations are offering practical support to artists and creative people – these include the Goddess Shop, Glaston Centre Ltd and the excellent facilities of the Red Brick Building
- Pilgrims need all meals except breakfast
- Excellent facilities offered by numerous cafés – but still a shortage of cafés open at night
Community gathering places
- Indoor and outdoor venues – could be a Temple like place
- There is a good selection of rooms for hire, including the Goddess Hall, Goddess House, Glastonbury Experience, the Assembly Rooms and many other rooms throughout the town. The Margaret Chapel in Magdalene Street, and the chapel in the Abbey Grounds are open for private prayer, but the abbey itself is not yet seen as the spiritual heart of Glastonbury.
- Help and guidance with spiritual and emotional problems
- The spiritual guidance facilities have now been established through Glaston Centre and other agencies
- Office giving a service of linking jobs and people - specifically designed for spiritual community.
- The Development Trust has set up the Op Shop which has been running for some years and gives an excellent service in supporting those seeking employment.
- Advice and practical help with administration, marketing and finance for people starting up new community ventures.
- Glastonbury Centre is at present investigating providing a mentoring and support service for those establishing new community ventures
- Spiritually orientated education – consciousness raising, spiritual practice, meditation etc.
- And increasing number of courses and workshops are being offered some of which are accredited to an appropriate University. There has been a tentative exploration of setting up an academic research facility, but so far this has made little progress
- Shops and other sources of food
- There is a good selection of supermarkets within walking distance of the town - also good wholefood shops in the town. And encouraging development of organic food grows supplying the town
- There continues to be a wide selectin of groups - possibly still missing is an integrated database showing who is offering what, although excellent information is available through the Oracle monthly free paper
- A very wide and varied selection of healing is on offer. A list of healers is available through Glastonbury Centre Ltd
- Information on all aspects of the community
- Information now available through the Information Centre in the Abbey Carpark and a wide range of services offered by Glaston Centre Ltd and the Pilgrim Reception Centre. Between the, these offer information, a visitor centre and personal advice and guidance
- Properly integrated collection of local web sites – preferably accessed through one comprehensive portal.
- The Internet has moved by leaps and bounds since 2004 - Glastonbury Online offers an excellent overview of the town and most organisations and project now has have their own web site
- A comprehensive library of the spirit – Complete with a collection of classics if all ages –should have research facilities.
- The Library of Avalon continues to thrive – it has not yet linked up with other libraries - but is offering support to visiting research students. It has not set up a research facility, but this being is being investigated by others.
- Ability to manufacture local specialities for sale to pilgrims
- There are many local small-scale manufacturers of souvenirs, including candles, cards etc. A number of local retailers are selling local products, both through their shop and online.
- Inexpensive serviced office space for start-up ventures
- Office space is offered in the Red Brick Building and the possibility of shared premises exist. But with the development of the Internet, the demand for offices has substantially decreased
- A well organised programme of marketing the town as a centre of pilgrimage and some people actively involved with contacting other centres in the UK and abroad.
- Useful work has been done by individual projects in promoting the town. There has not been a coherent centralised promotion of the town - mainly due to the ongoing problem of there is not being a shared vision of the town as a whole
- Access to professional publicity skills for all community ventures
- Does not yet exist
- A specialised publishing houses
- A number of local publishing houses exist - but there is not a house that could be seen as publishing a range of Glastonbury books.
- Research seems to be a vital part of the whole concept.
- A Research Centre has been on the agenda for many years and so far, nothing concrete has been established
Rooms for Hire
- Rooms for carrying out workshops etc.
- Ample rooms available
- Residential Centres where retreats can be staged
- There are nearby centres, with useful facilities, but as yet we do not have an integrated residential retreat centre in the town and walking distance from the town
- Open spaces with recognised energies
- Glastonbury has an abundance of sacred spaces - some of these are still in private hands it would be good for there to be some form of a Sacred Site Foundation to purchase these sites as they come on the market
- Grouping together independent individuals with similar skills
- Supporting each group with centralised specialised administrative, marketing and financial skills.
- Potential clusters are:
- Photography, Films and Videos
- Web design and computer skills
- Writing and editorial
- Publicity and Marketing
- Healing and Counselling etc
- Above was envisaged in 2004 – there is some communication between individuals with similar interests, but not yet a coherent organisation as envisioned
- Active support and practical help for those in need of material, emotional and spiritual support
- This is on offer through individuals and through state facilities. There is room for improvement and a coherent community support service
- There is no theatre in Glastonbury – a good theatre would be a great asset.
- There are facilities for theatrical productions in the Assembly Rooms, the Town Hall and the Goddess Hall, but no theatre as such. It is the questionable whether a theatre is now needed.
- Need for wide range if training courses – in practical skills and esoteric subjects.
- Training is now being offered in a number of practical skills including counselling, leadership and mentoring - possibly this training could be expanded
Wealth generating activities
- Individuals have their own income but the community as a whole need an income if the community projects are to be set up.
- There is not yet what might be called a central wealth generating activity. Start-up support is available for new projects from the Glastonbury Trust. This facility might be expanded
- Small manufacturers need serviced space at reasonable cost
- The Red Brick building is exploring expanding facilities to offer spaces of this type