The Elm Grove Story: A Mystical Journey
Edwin and Laurel were two agnostics who were bowled over by a clear, inner call that took them on a mystical adventure that proved beyond any doubt that God had a plan for their lives. This took them from suburban Sydney to the remote Snowy Mountains of NSW where they founded a spiritual retreat centre. As they struggled with disbelief and self-doubt, they experienced the awe of seeing amazing miracles unfold through daring to trust completely with open hearts and deep inner listening.
About the Author
Edwin was born in 1934 in Rhyl, North Wales. In 1960, as a musician he gained a posting with the Toronto Symphony orchestra and decided to travel through Europe, the Middle East and Australia on route to Canada. During his travels he fell ill and while recuperating in Australia he became enamoured and decided to stay. He combined his passion for music with becoming a successful business owner and he married and raised a family in Sydney, NSW. Laurel, born in Sydney in 1946, suffered a challenging family life. As a social worker she knew first-hand the difficulties that many people face in their lives and so her marriage to Edwin, along with her two children Jake and Natasha, this brought immense joy and contentment to her life. Neither Laurel nor Edwin held any strong religious convictions prior to when Laurel suffered a cardiac arrest in 1980 during major surgery. With Laurel’s amazing encounter with her Creator this brought huge change to her life and that of her family.Following a deep inner call this took them from their comfortable Sydney lifestyle to initially quite primitive living conditions in the Snowy Mountains of NSW where they founded a spiritual retreat centre. Within their deeply mystical experiences, immense workloads and early challenges, they then gifted their property in founding the charity, Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust where they welcomed and assisted all who came on a donation basis. In 1991, they formed a widely ecumenical community, the Little Followers of St. Francis and as life-professed Franciscans, they lived in deep trust and ‘by Grace’ as their vision unfolded. Their charity continues its work today.