Overview and review of activities
This has been a very special year celebrating the 40-year history of the Gatekeeper Trust from its formation in May 1983. The trustees are so grateful to have had the vision, energy, love and guidance of founders Peter and Sarah Dawkins throughout four decades. They and other inspirational figures have shaped the evolution of the Trust and their explorations and research are a remarkable legacy for present Gatekeepers and those who seek this profound knowledge in years to come.
Free events have been put on to enable all to enjoy the community of Gatekeeper. The July weekend at The Rollright Stones, exploring Sovereignty in the Land, came at a time when our British monarchy was being handed from one custodian to another. Peter explained the sacred marriage between mankind and the land reminding us of our role as guardians of our landscapes.
Peter Dawkins described the Swan and the Sovereignty of the Land to us (Fig 1). David Furlong revealed his research into the Cotswold Circle and led us in the circle dance of King of the Faeries (2&3).
After lunch we visited the Rollright Stones in the wind and rain! (4,5,6). We returned to a beautiful centrepiece (7) and had a warming cuppa when Sarah Dawkins cut the Gatekeeper celebration cake, with 4 butterflies representing the 40th anniversary of Gatekeeper. (8,9,10)
On the Sunday, pilgrims combined poetry and paneurythymy at Compton Verney with Sarah Dawkins and Charlotte Younge https://gatekeeper.org.uk/events/full-moon-meditation-leo-aquarius/
We are grateful to all Gatekeepers who lead pilgrimages in their own areas and commune with their local spirit of place. Without their input and energy the connective network and synergy of Gatekeeper Trust would wither away.
Links below will take you to 2 pilgrims days in 2023:
- The Shap Landscape Temple: https://gatekeeper.org.uk/2023/05/a-day-in-the-shap-landscape-temple-april-2023/
- East Sussex St Georges Day: https://gatekeeper.org.uk/2023/04/geomancy-in-sussex-st-georges-day-2023/
The October 2023 Gatekeeper Annual Conference delivered talks from Peter Dawkins, Tracey Chaplin, John Wadsworth and Charlotte Yonge focusing on the British Landscape Zodiac.
The Light in the Land event brought over 70 Gatekeepers together in a synchronized ceremony. This was a wonderful opportunity to bring the wider Gatekeeper community together, both in the British Isles and abroad. It is hoped that this initiative is just a beginning.
The recordings of the 2023 conference are available on the website, for this year only available without charge. The Ruby Anniversary has been as inclusive as possible to allow all to participate.
The team guiding the Gatekeeper Trust currently are:
Co-chairs: Charlotte Yonge, Angela Shaw
Treasurer: Mike Newton
Trustee: Jane Knight
The trustees are grateful for the support of our core team:
Amelia: Gatekeeper Trust Secretary (multi-talented organizer)
Louise Coe: annual conference convenor
Rose Williams: GKT newsletter co-editor.
Charlotte (co-editor) continues sharing past pilgrimages and research in her inspirational Sun zodiac landscape meditations and convenes the quarterly Zoom gatherings, which brings together conversations and connection from our dispersed landscape, creating a sense of community online.
Please let The Secretary know if you would like to join in: https://gatekeeper.org.uk/contact/
We are most fortunate to have the invaluable resource of Elders of the Trust, including some Gatekeeper founder members, whose wisdom we are able to draw on from time to time as the need arises. Their experience and past research also enriches the educational aspect of the Trust.
The Trust's financial year runs from April 1st to March 31st. The results for the year ended March 31st 2023 show an increased deficit of £1,514 compared with a deficit of £398 for the year ended March 31st 2022.
This increased deficit is virtually entirely attributable to increased speaker and venue costs for the events we promoted. We had 4 such events during 2022- 3 pilgrimages at key points on the Spine of Albion at Uffingham, Stratford and Alderley Edge together with the 3rd Virtual Annual Conference "Art Rescues the Heart".
The pilgrimages entailed hiring venues for the events, speaker travel and accommodation costs and speaker fees themselves and overall numbers attending the events were not sufficient to break even.
However, the Trustees consider that in promoting such events we are meeting our charitable objectives of education and research and the Trust has the financial resources to bear losses in furtherance of those objectives.
The financial outcome of the 2022 Annual Conference was disappointing, with paying attendees less than half of the prior year numbers and, together with increased speaker fees, we were not able to repeat the financial success we enjoyed in 2021.
The Trustees continue to keep the financial position of the Trust under review, balancing our fiduciary responsibilities with the need to promote our charitable objectives. We decided that as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations we would not charge for attendance at any of the events scheduled for 2023 knowing that we would incur losses on event activities during the year. Again, this decision in accordance with furthering our charitable obligations.
The summarised financial results for the year ended March 31st 2023 are as follows:
Sales of books etc 36
Interest received. 441
Purchases books etc 0
Bank and PayPal charges. 125
A final note:
We hope that we have given you a flavour of the work we have been involved with over the past few months. We have been very busy, but the work has fallen on a very small group of people and our resources are stretched. If we are to continue as a Trust and to further develop our work in the landscape through the provision of events and a developing online presence we need more help.
Unlike many other small charities in these times we are financially sound and have the resources to fund our future. We have an urgent need for people to come forward offering service as a trustee or in any specific capacity such as publicity and marketing, event management etc. Jane Noble Knight, our most recently appointed trustee, has prepared a short item describing the work of a Trustee from her new standpoint
There are currently four trustees: Angela Shaw (Chair), Charlotte Yonge (Co-Chair), Michael Newton (Treasurer) and myself Jane Knight. We are a small and dedicated team who work well together, sharing out the workload amongst ourselves and our supporters and would love to welcome new ideas and energies into our group.
Between us we fulfill the practical requirements of operating a charity-finance, regulatory requirements, planning future events and the like, but also making sure that what we do fulfils our charitable objectives as set out in the Trust Deed. We hold regular Trustees meetings over Zoom every 6-8 weeks with extra meetings slotted in as and when we have events coming up. Those meetings last for 60-90 minutes.
So if you are interested in contributing your ideas for the future development of Gatekeeper Trust either generally or in specific areas but feel you have limited time to undertake specific roles, please don’t let that put you off. We are very flexible and can accommodate most working arrangements. We need new ideas and support- we can decide later how to incorporate flexible arrangements into our structure!
To find out more, or to attend a Trustees' Meeting to see how we work at first hand without any obligation, then please contact us via the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
With very best wishes