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Philip Eley

I live in Paignton, Devon where I’m married with three children and a dog. Me and my dog walk daily on the beach. The same beach, but it’s different every day. I used to travel a lot and wanted to see as much of the world as possible. I thought contentment lay in seeing as much as possible. These days I prefer seeing as deeply as possible.

I was brought up in a small village in Scotland. Nature was everywhere. On one side of the road was a large forest. On the other side I could look over the farmer’s fields down to the sea. I was in awe of nature from a young age. It took me longer to find God. When we moved to London, nature was harder to find but it was always there, hidden in the cracks. I’ve known times when God has been harder to find too, but its often nature that brings me back.

Phillip Eley

I’m the Wellbeing Lead of a charity, plus helping lead a small church. I work for LiNX Christian Youth Trust, as their Wellbeing Lead. It’s a Schools-work charity in Torbay. Our mission is ‘Enabling Torbay Young People to reach their full Potential.’ Increasingly, this has meant helping them with their emotional wellbeing through one-to-one listening and small group work on anxiety, sleep and self-esteem. In addition, we deliver emotional first-aid courses.

My favourite things to write about are wellbeing, nature and spirituality. Each book I’ve written has come out of my own personal discipleship. They are normally born through struggle. They are attempts to know God authentically, honestly and deeply. For me, this involves research and reading, but also a lot of reflection and soul-searching. I read, I walk, I reflect, I pray, then I write. There are no easy answers in the world of wellbeing, and it’s something that has to be approached with rawness and honesty. I wasn’t expecting to need this honesty when I started reflecting on how to know God more deeply through the natural world. But, when I started exploring this topic, it was a strangely unexplored area, which I had to approach as a way for me to grow, and then hope that resonated with others. Which is perhaps the best way to approach writing any book.

I started developing the ideas in ‘Wild Bible – Wild Church’ as a way to help my church respond to nature and God differently. My central thought was that although people recognise that nature is a revelation of God, people haven’t fully explored what that means. Inevitably, it is my own discipleship which has changed the most, and every nature walk is a Bible Study, a prayer Walk and a way to learn more about God.