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Service Times

Visitors are welcome
to join with the Community
at any or all of the services.

They will be held in the chapel unless otherwise shown

For normal service times please CLICK HERE or on the picture above

The Gospel of Matthew

Thinking Scripture


The Guest House was full to overflowing for this year's Scripture week - lovely to welcome back old friends and also several new people to join us. As usual we explored sections from our selected Gospel in three ways, as literature, history and theology.

We focused on the Sermon on the Mount, on Chapters 11 and 18 and finally (after we had had time to get used to our methods of interpretation) on the Infancy Narratives. Our speakers, Fr Dixie, Sr Margaret and Dr Geoffrey Turner, explored Matthew's context and his relation to the Judaism of his time, with a detailed look at, for example, slavery in the ancient world, the role of genealogies in Scripture, or the practice of 'fraternal correction'.

Geoff's musical meditation this year took the theme of the First World War and included moving pieces by Butterworth, Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Still remembering the war, we watched together the excellent Monsignor Renard, set in occupied France and starring John Thaw, and concluded the social evening on the last night on a more light-hearted note with Dad's Army.

There were various options available for the free day including walks up Easedale Tarn or around Grasmere, a trip to Hadrian's Wall, visits to the bird reserve at Leighton Moss and the former Cistercian Furness Abbey.

The Gospel of Luke

Our Thinking Scripture weeks on the Gospel of Luke took place in June and September.

Thinking Scripture September

We followed our usual approach of exploring sections from our selected Gospel in three ways, as literature, history and theology and began with the opening chapters, then looked in depth at chapters 15 and 19, and finally studied the account of the Passion.

Thinking Scripture Thinking Scripture September

Particular themes included Fr Dixie on the way in which Luke's writing engages the reader from the beginning in the infancy narratives, 
Dr Geoffrey Turner providing an innovative interpretation of the Parable of the Pounds and Sr Margaret on the historicity of different versions of Jesus's trial.

Thinking Scripture September Thinking Scripture September

Geoff’s musical meditations this year included settings of Luke's canticles by Bach, Mozart and Tallis, and Berlioz's lovely 'Shepherd's Farewell'.

We showed two ‘filmgoers’s’ films: the Inuit Atarnajuat - Fast Runner in June, and Mr Turner, about the artist, in September. Both were demanding to watch, but rewarding for those who persevered!

Trips out included a rather wet visit to Levens for the Open Gardens Day and a lovely walk along the river from Settle to Stainforth, on a day when the sun blessed Yorkshire more than Cumbria!

Thinking Scripture Thinking Scripture

In September, some visited Holker Hall Gardens, while others walked on the moors above Ulverston, finishing with tea and cakes in a renowned local establishment!

Thinking Scripture Thinking Scripture September 

A big thank you to Fr Mackie and Fr Waters respectively for providing Mass each day for the group.

Next year’s Thinking Scripture will be on the Gospel of John

Please contact Sr. Margaret


Good Shepherd John 10
Our two Thinking Scripture weeks on the Gospel of John took place in June/July and in September. We followed our usual approach of exploring sections from our selected Gospel in three ways, as literature, history and theology. We focused on chapter 9, the story of the man born blind, and 10, which includes the parable of the Good Shepherd, then on the accounts of the Resurrection in chapters 20 and 21, before returning to the Prologue for our final sessions. Particular themes included Sr Margaret on the characterisation in the narrative of the healing of the blind man, Dr Geoffrey Turner explaining the Jewish festivals which St John uses as a setting for his narratives and Fr Dixie on the way in which grasping the Resurrection depends on the gift of revelation and disclosure. We also had plenty of opportunity for group discussions of specific passages.

Breakfast Thinking Scripture group
Study groups with Dr Geoffrey Turner
Study groups with Dr Geoffrey Turner

Geoff’s musical meditations this year included a Bach cantata about the Good Shepherd, a new piece by James MacMillan and some singing from the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

As usual, we watched a film together - for the first week, the Italian classic Cinema Paradiso, and for the second a presentation of the life of Martin Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes and Peter Ustinov - thought-provoking for a bunch of mainly Catholic scripture enthusiasts!

For the first week, the weather did not encourage even our hardy veterans to many trips out, but we did much enjoy celebrating a special birthday together in the Pheasant pub. By September, the sky had brightened up, and a group of us enjoyed a lovely walk in Little Langdale, passing by Tarn Hows, and on most days people managed nice walks in the local area.

A little local scenery

A big thank you to our resident chaplain, Fr John Watson, to Fr Frank and to Fr Dixie for making it possible to have Mass each day for the group. It was also lovely to welcome some of our Bernardine friends from Hyning, and several local non-residents and resident volunteers, to join in our sessions. As always, participants joined together for Morning Prayer and were free to join the Sisters for Evening and Night Prayer.

Sociable surroundings
Sociable surroundings
 Vespers Vespers

Next week we are planning one full week, in October, and one long weekend in July.

Instead of taking a single book, we will concentrate on a theme: God in the Bible.

If you want to ensure a place for the full week, you need to book early!

Contact SR MARGARET for bookings or more information

Thinking Faith
What were the highlights of this year’s Thinking Faith?

Thinking - we took the encyclical Faith and Reason as our key text

and this led us also to thinking about truth and lying.

Our Thinking Faith week was on the theme of ‘Faith and Creation’, with special reference to Laudato Si’.  We also took the opportunity to join in the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order. The week was attended by a group of enthusiastic younger people, old friends and new.

800th anniversary cake Order of Preachers   800th anniversary cake Order of Preachers

On Sunday we had some excellent and insightful input from Martina Rensen on the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’. This was followed by a trip out to Staveley with a packed lunch. In the evening we watched a troubling and challenging documentary called ‘Trashed’ led by Jeremy Irons. It was on the contamination of the world’s resources, for example, the pollution of our oceans with fragments of plastic. On Monday morning, Fr Dixie gave us an excellent lecture on ‘Creation in the Bible’ and we continued to work on Laudato Si’ in groups. After lunch, some of the group walked to Humphrey Head. We were then privileged to have a fascinating talk from Professor John Brooke of Oxford University on ‘Darwin and Creation’, in which he explored Darwin’s theory of evolution.

On Tuesday, Sr Margaret lectured on ‘Green Economics’ and in the evening we watched a light-hearted film with refreshments on the theme of Creation and Noah’s Ark called Evan Almighty.

On Wednesday, the group had a trip to the Lake District including the option of a longer walk above Lake Windermere, or shorter walks in Grizedale and then beside Lake Windermere.
In the evening some of us went for a bar snack at The Pheasant in Allithwaite, which has fine views over Morecambe Bay.

Thinking Faith trip  Thinking Faith trip
 Thinking Faith trip  Thinking Faith trip

On Thursday, Eleanor Petch gave us a wonderful presentation on ‘Landscape in Literature’ drawing on the milieu of Jane Austen. This was followed by singing practice with Maria Hall as we prepared for the mass of Mary Magdalene, the Patroness of the Dominicans, on the next day. We returned to the theme of Jane Austen in the evening when we watched a touching production of ‘Mansfield Park’ with a rather rebellious Fanny Price.

On Friday, Fr Robert Verrill expertly led us through a lecture entitled ‘Creation and the Big Bang’ and then followed this by ‘Introduction to Quantum Theory’. Sr Margaret led a discussion on ‘Integral Ecology’ during which we looked at ways we could increase our respect for the material world.

That evening we had our usual buffet and social evening. Visiting music teacher Maria Hall and Fr Robert treated us to some lively music in the chapel after Compline, a combination of organ and trumpet.

 Fr Robert Verrill OP and Maria Hall Fr Robert Verrill OP
 Thinking Faith Social Thinking Faith Social


Down in the drawing room, the evening was rounded off with some other musical performances. We finished on Saturday morning with a discussion of Laudato Si’.

As usual we shared Morning Prayer and Mass together each day, and joined the Community for Evening and Night Prayer. Boarbank also offers plenty of space for quiet personal prayer, in our chapel, gardens or oratory. A big thank you to Fr Robert for his sermons.

French CricketSr. Margaret competitive? Never!
TF French Cricket

A great pleasure of the week is always the friendships that develop, based on shared faith and values, fostered by shared meals and conversation, rooted in shared prayer, and open to our hosts, the Augustinian Sisters, and the guests with whom we also share the Guest House. 

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