Audio excerpts from ‘Under the Bright Wings’

Listen to excerpts read by Peter and Miranda Harris, who founded A Rocha, in Portugal, in 1983.

1. ‘The death of a marsh: The need for conservation in the Algarve’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 52–55: Shortly after we settled into the flat in Vila Verde, we had our first experience of the problems that local conservationists were facing…


2. ‘Living with hostility’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 60–63: It is tempting to paint a colourful Mediterranean picture in the style of My Family and Other Animals and to depict Vila Verde as a happy community basking in the golden southern sun…


3. ‘Creating a Christian community at Cruzinha’

Read by Miranda Harris

Pages 88–91: We were convinced that most of those who found Christian belief a complete mystery, or irrelevant, had not rejected it, but simply had no idea of what it meant to believe in Jesus…


4. ‘Early cross-cultural misunderstandings’

Read by Miranda Harris

Pages 100–103: Christians who are involved in mission may be found doing practically anything that is biblical: transcribing languages into ASCII code, making television programmes, digging ditches, writing songs…


5. ‘Why should Christians work in conservation?’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 104–109: There had never been a bird observatory at the service of the gospel before, but why not? Come to that, why not a motorbike repair shop?…


6. ‘Fieldwork: Summer migrants and winter atlas’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 113–116: The area of the estuary and farmlands proved to be as interesting all the year round as we had hoped, and slowly a pattern began to emerge in the activities of the house…


7. ‘Fieldwork as worship, witness and obedience’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 117–121: The meals were often memorable for all kinds of reasons. Eating in Portugal means time to talk, and the discussion often turned to the question of what was distinctively Christian about the environmental work of A Rocha…


8. ‘Living in community’, part 1

Read by Miranda Harris

Pages 151–154: For many Europeans, economics, architecture, the motor car and the television all conspire against the wonderfully ramshackle and organic creation of larger family units which can include friends and strangers without much inconvenience…


9. ‘Living in community’, part 2

Read by Miranda Harris

Pages 162–164: One final observation about family and community…


10. ‘Adventures with Storm-petrels’

Read by Peter Harris

Pages 169–171 & 174: Each year we publish the results of the field work, which now encompasses botany, geography and marine biology as well as ornithology, and the reports go to government departments and universities…


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