Here are brief details of events I am involved with in coming months. For more information please click on the links.
Seeing in the Dark
Meeting God within times of struggle and uncertainty
Saturday November 13th, 2021, 10am to 4pm
at The Living Well, Vicarage Lane, Nonington, Dover CT15 4JT
Life is joyful, beautiful and a rich blessing, but also difficult, painful and mysterious. This day will draw on imagery from the Christian spiritual tradition to explore the part struggle plays within human growth and our experience of God, with insights from the writings of John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Hadewijch. With their help we learn to travel by night deeper into God. We discover how Christ willingly falls into the depths of our difficulty. We wrestle with God, yet find ourselves held by love. We learn to move in rhythm with the changing seasons of our lives. We travel the trackless wastes between endings and beginnings, and find hope along the way.
Earthed in God
Four Movements of Spiritual Growth
Saturday November 20th, 2021, 10am to 3.30pm
at Cockfosters Centre for Spirituality, London
In the Bible, spiritual growth is likened to the natural development processes of plants, and the part played by gardeners, whether human or divine. Growing in God’s Life will explore four recurring movements of this growth:
· Becoming rooted and grounded in God
· Emerging into being in response to God’s invitation
· Struggling towards abundance through resistance
· Bearing fruit and being willing to fall
These four are movements, not stages. They are seasons that meet us afresh within a lifetime of growing, stirring us once more into abundant life. Jesus, the teller of parables, invites us to hold the mystery of creation in mind and heart, like seed in the hand of a sower. ‘Look’, he says, ‘see what happens if you are grounded in God’s good soil. Behold the wonder of who you are and what you might become.’
Peace be with you
An online reflective morning for Advent
St. Augustine's College of Theology
December 4th 2021, 10am to 1pm
We live in times of division. Many of us carry hurts from our past. Yet Jesus enters the room of how life is for us and breathes peace. As Advent begins, we will explore how we might receive and share the peace that begins with a mother giving birth to a son. We will draw on insights from the bible, the Christian spiritual tradition and poetry
Men Pray Too: An individually guided retreat for men
March 14th to March 18th 2022
At Penhurst Retreat Centre, near Battle, Sussex
An individually guided retreat (IGR) is largely silent but with an opportunity to meet each day, one to one, with an experienced guide. The emphasis is on attentiveness: we have time to catch up with ourselves - with our hopes, fears and desires. We pay attention to the Word of God as it meets us where we are; and we seek to discern the movement of the Spirit within our experience, drawing us in to fullness of life.
Send my Roots Rain
Finding spiritual sustenance within ministry
Saturday January 29th 2022, 10am to 4pm at St. Benedict's Centre, West Malling, Kent
Send my Roots Rain will explore ways of allowing the life-giving water of the Spirit to soak down to the roots of those involved in ministry – whether lay or ordained.
Our roots lie in our story, in our experience of calling, and above all in abiding in relationship with our life-giving God. With the demands of ministry and the uncertainties that hang over the future, our roots can become dry. In caring for others we can neglect to look after ourselves. Yet every minister is also a disciple, called to the intimacy of companionship with Christ and continued growth in the Spirit. Our spiritual, physical and emotional health matters to God, who calls each one by name.
This day aims to help participants discover practices and ways of prayer that will refresh and sustain their ministry and, at the same time, go with who they are and how life is.
A retreat for those seeking a new direction in their lives.
Monday 17th October to Thursday 20th October 2022
at Penhurst Retreat Centre, near Battle, East Sussex
Led by Christopher Chapman
Choices face us within our relationships, work, and ministry. Sometimes we are aware of a specific choice that is ours to make; at other times what we recognise is the need for change, without seeing where this leads us. Sometimes events jolt us out of our former path and we don`t know how to respond.