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The Edward Carpenter Community
For men who love men

Autumn Gathering and Visioning

Dovedale House, Derbyshire

Fri 27th to Tue 31st October 2023

This event has already happened

This year’s Autumn Gathering will be a special four-day ‘Visioning Gathering’ at a lovely new venue in the southern Peak District.

Picture of Dovedale House in the autumn

The Venue

Our venue is Dovedale House, situated in the tiny village of Ilam at the entrance to the beautiful Ilam Park. The countryside is gorgeous and wonderful walks start in every direction from the venue’s front door. Dovedale, the valley, is “a geological theme park whose every summit, cave and gorge provides a thrilling ride for all”.

And speaking of theme parks, Alton Towers with its fabulous gardens and awesome roller coasters is just 15 minutes drive away and could provide a great trip out during the event.

Dovedale house at night

One of the shared bedrooms is on the ground floor and has an adjacent shower and toilet  equipped for wheelchair users. There is a stair lift to the first floor.

Dovedale House, Ilam, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AZ

Travel to the venue by public transport:

For most people the best way to get to Ilam will be train to Derby, then a bus to Ashbourne. Buses leave Derby bus station at 1420, 1520, 1630, 1730 and take 37 minutes. The Organisers will try to co-ordinate taxi sharing and lifts from Ashbourne to the venue (approx 5 miles) Ideally, the 1630 bus from Derby will deposit a crowd of us at Ashbourne at 1707 and taxis/lifts can be shared. Dinner will be at 7pm. If you are going to arrive later than that, please let one of the organisers know and we will save you some food.

Leaving on Tuesday morning:

During the event we'll try to co-ordinate lifts and taxi sharing for getting away. The buses from Ashbourne leave at 0720, 0820, 0930, 1025, 1125...taking 40 minutes to get to Derby.

The Event

The event will include the usual ECC activities such as go-rounds, base groups and workshops. There will be free time to enjoy the park and the surrounding countryside. We shall need to incorporate within the event our, usually brief, Annual General Meeting of ECC Ltd.

Notice of Annual General Meeting of Edward Carpenter Community Ltd

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Edward Carpenter Community Ltd will take place at Dovedale House, Derbyshire, at 10.00 am on Sunday 29th October 2023. Any member wishing to put down a motion for discussion should forward this motion in writing so that it reaches the undersigned not later than 21 days before the date of the meeting.

Mike Kaye, Secretary, Edward Carpenter Community Ltd, Waring Bottom, Huddersfield HD7 5XB.

Please aim to arrive from 5pm on the Friday (dinner will be at 7pm) and aim to leave after breakfast (no rush) on the Tuesday

What is a Visioning Gathering?

These have happened every several years or so in ECC. The last one was in 2015 at Loch Lomond. They are an opportunity to reflect upon where our community is at in its ongoing evolution and to anticipate possible developments and challenges for the future. You are invited to come and have your say, team up with others to advance some project, brainstorm your wildest dreams.

We’d like the event to be lively and structured, a creative and fun process and we want to avoid inconsequential and tedious discussions which can so easily sap the life out of people.

If you have ideas, please write something and send it to us beforehand if you can, or give Mike a call on ***** *** *** or email him at *********@****.***.

A good starting place could be to generate a sharing of what we think is great about ECC, what it means to us, what we most value. Are we on the right track? Are we in danger of losing our way in some respects? How does ECC sit in this weird world of 2023, what is its place amongst the increasing number of other organisations and communities of men who love men?

We could shape our workshops and discussions around our traditional Visions and Values:

As members of the Edward Carpenter Community we are committed to:

  1. Becoming fully ourselves as gay men by being creative, courageous, open, truthful, loving and fully responsible for ourselves. We will pursue personal growth and engage in activities that increase our self-awareness, self-worth and well-being.
  2. Creating community by being welcoming, inclusive, safe, empowering, encouraging, allowing, accepting, co-operative, challenging, forgiving and fun. We will do this through friendship that builds trust and intimacy, and formal and informal gatherings and events. We will embrace diversity. We will make decisions by consensus, support each other and share skills and knowledge.
  3. Living respectfully and holistically within the wider world by engaging, inspiring, questioning, pioneering, sharing our lives and gifts. We will build relationships with others, and be aware of the impact of our thoughts, intentions and actions on our  communities and planet.

How do we interpret these? How do we put them into practice?

Demand for places on our events is currently very high. Many new guys are joining us. Can we meet this demand? We can discuss ideas for events, traditional style  and maybe something experimental.

If ECC grows, it might change its nature to some degree. What might the challenges be?

Please bring your thoughts, hopes and fears. Facilitate a workshop (remember, a “workshop” can be almost anything – a walk, a profound discussion,  a session of silliness, sharing a skill or passion.

There can be a performance of some kind, a soirée if people are up for it.

The Organisers

The Autumn Gathering is organised and hosted by the current members of the ECC Maintenance Group. Shaun Kent (Treasurer), Mike Kaye (Company Secretary), and Rob Parker (Newsletter & publicity). They'll be supported by David Wray in the kitchen.

Shaun Kent
Mike Kaye
Rob Parker
David Wray

Shaun will be handling bookings, and will be pleased to answer queries about the accommodation and bookings.


ECC’s superb cook David Wray will be in charge of the catering and as usual our meals will be vegetarian and healthy. If alcohol is required, bring your own or visit a nearby country pub. The nearest shops are in Ashbourne (6 miles away).

Covid guidlines

As agreed by last year’s Annual Gathering, ECC’s Covid guidelines will be reviewed at this event.

COVID-19: Our events are open to men of all backgrounds, some of whom may be medically vulnerable. To help keep everyone safe, we have adopted a set of covid guidelines which we ask all participants to read and adhere to.
Covid Guidelines.
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