Convivium is a major new initiative of Brecon Cathedral that promotes a vision for sustainable living rooted in a sacramental understanding of the world. At the heart of this approach is the idea of ‘conviviality’, or living well together, which speaks to our need to live in harmony with God, the environment, and each other.
CON • VIVIUM: to live together; feast, banquet. Latin: com “with, together” + vivere “to live”.
conviviality, n. /kənˌvɪvɪˈalɪti/: The quality of being festive; the enjoyment of festive society, festivity; (of persons) convivial spirit or disposition.
Delight. Human beings were created for delight, to enjoy the other for its own sake, and to grow in mind and spirit in open generosity otherwise known as love.
Community: Humanity does not stand alone: there is no place where human beings can stand apart from the God who created us and the Creation in which we were placed. To live is to belong to God, others, and the natural world; to thrive is to belong to God, others, and the world well.
Hospitality. There is no love without a delight that creates deep bonds of affection, a communion in which the lover seeks to dwell beneficially with and for the beloved. Such love arises when we seek opportunities to practice hospitality.
Conviviality. Mutual delight creates communities characterised by conviviality: the active and deliberate intention to ‘live together’ in a spirit of generosity and fellowship with all to whom we belong: God, humankind, and nature.
Balance. Conviviality requires balance: any worship of the divine that harms other human beings or destroys the earth is idolatry; social constructs that neglect the divine and destroy the natural are inhumane; environmentalism that ignores a Creator and undermines communities is self-defeating.
Sustainability. Conviviality consists of nurturing everything that is delightful while challenging anything that diminishes delight. Human freedom excels when women and men have the capacity to engage creatively with conviviality through art, music, craftsmanship, gardening, cookery, prayer, worship, the pursuit of wisdom and any other activities that fosters love between people and for God and the natural world.
Memory. True sustainability requires social memory. By appreciating our debt to the past, we embrace our responsibility to the future. Local memory, carried in customs, stories, and landscape, roots individuals within local communities and provides substance to the idea of belonging.
Locality. Sustainability in the general requires sustainability in the particular. Local forms of conviviality and delight should seek as little as possible to depend on resources and industry that diminish delight elsewhere.