Sacred Space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr Paul writes:

When I was away on sabbatical study leave in the summer of 2017, I spent a wonderful few days with the Community of Hopeweavers in Southampton. they are very little known, and that is part of their distinctive charism, - a locally based community dedicated to prayer and stillmess. Hopeweavers have developed their ministry of stillness over more than a decade, and they are drawn on across the dioceses of Winchester and Portsmouth, where they offer monthly quiet days and afternoons, now extended to evenings in community members’ homes. This is not something exotic or strange – just ordinary Christian people who have discovered something of the infinite richness of prayer that is still and silent. You can find out more at www.hopeweavers.co.uk/

Hopeweavers’ aims are simply expressed. The Community of Hopeweavers aims to offer sanctuary space and resources for individuals and groups who seek silence and stillness as part of a Christian faith journey:

 

  • to create places away from our everyday lives where we can be refreshed and experience peace and quiet;
  • safe places where we can dream dreams and receive from God in stillness and calm;
  • somewhere to share silence with others, to learn more about prayer and to make ourselves available to God, to listen;
  • encouraging and valuing creativity as a way of responding to God;
  • for Christians and people of all faiths or none, of all ages, in small groups, teams, as individuals, in family groups.
  •  

Inspired by all of this, beginning on Sunday 18 June, we will be launching Sacred Space. The format will be a quiet afternoon, using the resources and facilities that we have – the church, the churchyard, the church rooms. The afternoon will begin at 2pm with a simple liturgy of midday prayer, followed by some very light-touch spiritual guidance, and then those who participate will be encouraged to give one another the gift of silence, the permission not to have to speak or converse, as we all seek to find God in reflection and quiet. It is useful to have some kind of practical activity to occupy the conscious parts of our minds, so there will be art and craft materials available, bookmarks to colour as we seek to become mindful and draw our minds into our hearts. You can sit still in or out of the church or church rooms, go for a walk, enjoy the sunshine (we hope – that bit’s not guaranteed!) – in fact whatever helps you in your reflection. Then at 4.30pm we’ll come back together for simple evening prayer and share tea and cake, and conversation. If that sounds simple, that’s because it is! We’ll do it again on 16 July and 17 September, and my hope is that it will become a regular part of our parish life thereafter.

Hopeweavers particularly value a prayer written by St Teresa of Calcutta:

‘God give me the gift of silence; Silence that leads to prayer,

Prayer that leads to love, love that leads to service,

And service that is returned in silent praise.’


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