Local authors, Edwin and Laurel Lloyd-Jones’ book ‘The Elm Grove Story’ – a mystical journey will be launched by Anglican Bishop George Browning and his wife Margaret on Saturday, 26th November at 2.30 pm at St John’s Anglican Red Door Hall in Moruya.
Above: Edwin and Laurel Lloyd-Jones
When their book was published in April this year Edwin and Laurel decided against holding a book launch due to the high risk associated with the covid pandemic. However, now that things have improved, and upon the urging of many people, they have decided to combine the celebration of Edwin’s 88th birthday with launching their book. A reading, and an invitation for brief comment from those who have already read the book, will be offered along with afternoon tea and some birthday cake.
“All are very welcome and, if you are coming, we’d love to know in advance so that we have a big enough cake to share,’ said Laurel. ‘ We are offering a specially reduced book price for the launch, and as we have had an amazing response from readers both here and overseas, we thought it would be a good idea to inform people about it in our local region. It has brought positive comment from both those who are agnostics as well as those who hold a faith in a greater power.
We were two agnostics living in Sydney, and raising our two children, when we were bowled over by a clear, inner call that took us on an adventure from suburban life to Goobarragandra, near Tumut (in the remote Snowy Mountains) where we founded a spiritual retreat centre in 1983. Prior to this Edwin had been a musician and business owner and I was working as a social worker.
In the founding of Elm Grove Sanctuary, we welcomed people from many different faiths, or of none, who were often referred to us by health professionals, hospitals and cancer groups. Individuals, and often families, came due to a member facing a life-threatening illness or other major challenge in their lives. Within the counselling support offered, and amidst the serenity and beauty of nature, they found rest, solace, healing and acceptance of their difficult life situations.
Our charity, the Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust, remains founded on deep trust. The many amazing things that enabled the sanctuary’s development came about through trust and the loving support and shared vision of so many people. Our centre functioned purely on a donation basis and over time we built accommodation buildings, and an ecumenical chapel, for our guests believing that, if it was for the common good of all people, then the funds would become available. This was never found wanting. Within the mystery of a loving and benevolent creator we saw many, many miracles unfold.
‘While Edwin and I are Franciscan Christians we always sought to care for the environment and to offer a warm welcome to people irrespective of their individual faith or life circumstances. We saw the healing that love can provide for people in close connection with nature. The Indigenous people of the region, and the wider community were additional delights. We were supported and loved in our endeavours by many people in Tumut along with the invaluable support the local Shire Council and Bishop George Browning and Fr Francis Carroll, the Catholic Archbishop of Canberra Goulburn in their role as guardians of our community The little Followers of St Francis.’
People interested in the memoir unable to attend the launch can find the book ‘The Elm Grove Story’ – a mystical journey (ISBN: 9781922722553 and published by Greenhill Publishing) online through book distributors or through the local bookshops in Bega and Moruya.
Further details can be obtained by emailing – email@example.com or Laurelandedwin@gmail.com