Patmos Proposals

There we sat, five virtual strangers, our ship anchored in a small Turkish port and although late it seemed wrong to call it a day.

An American, a Persian, German and two English. Put another way - a marine scientist, a lecturer, two environmentalists and a journalist. On another level we included a Roman Catholic, Protestants and a Zoroastrian.

In other words, a pretty mixed bunch who found ourselves sharing the pleasure of watching a moon we all knew reflected on a sea surrounding a coast which made us all strangers.

Our talk not unnaturally turned to the one thing we had in common - the Patmos cruise. We were, after all, experiencing something quite unique and it would be only natural to wonder why and how we came to be part of it.

Then the discussion turned to what could possibly be achieved by the exercise and what we as individuals or as a group might be able to contribute.

This is how the Patmos Proposals came about. In fact during that balmy hour or so around midnight little more than the idea was discussed, but in its limited state it did seem like a good constructive idea. We knew that the number seven had a major significance in the story of the Apocalypse - so all we needed to do was come up with the seven ways the talking on the boat could be turned into positive action for the future.

At breakfast later that morning enthusiasm still remained and was increased with the support of David Bellamy. It was agreed that we should put our idea to the organisers and offer to develop it. Our chosen prey was the Bishop of London who grasped the nettle immediately and instantly created a quorum which he then announced to the assembling participants at the start of the morning session. From here on meetings were held and suggestion boxes produced so that participants in the symposium could contribute their ideas. It was clear that many of them wanted proposals for action.

By the time the boat returned to Piraeus, burning the midnight oil had still not produced the Proposals in the form we all wished and so thanks to faxes and emails on dry land and across other channels and oceans we finished our task and circulated to all participants The Patmos Proposals: Seven Steps for Action.