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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

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Health and Salvation week at Boarbank, 7th - 12th Jan 2019

Theme - Communication

Health & Salvation
Health and Salvation in January 2019 brought together regular attenders with some new participants to ponder the theme of Communication.

The 'Called to Work' weekend was for anyone interested in linking their work and their faith, especially if they were thinking of a change of work, or changing things at work.

It began with an introduction led by Sr Margaret, who explored the language we use for different types of work and leisure.

The next morning James Atkins, Founder and Managing Director of Vertis Environmental Finance spoke of his vision of working for the environment, of what inspired that in him from childhood and of how he keeps the vision alive in his firm.

Helen Bailey, an expert in helping and individuals companies manage change spoke of how her work had been enriched more recently by training in teaching mindfulness and in spiritual direction, and explored ways of making changes at work.

Fr Dermot Tredget, a retired priest of the Diocese of Cardiff, also had an interesting personal story to tell, beginning work as a chef and moving via lecturing to a range of responsibilities during his time as a monk and priest, including using The Rule of St Benedict to help business people reflect on their work.

Martin Lawson, a professional banker and businessman, explored an alternative, Christian, vision to the standard profit-driven model of business, and gave the powerful example of the Clean for Good cleaning company, which provides fair wages and conditions for cleaners in the City of London, and which he helped the Parish of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe to found in 2014.

Participants were also able to join in Mass and Office with the Community, to enjoy a social evening together, and to watch the film Outsourced, a humorous but thought-provoking film about modern working practices.

Health and Salvation week at Boarbank, 8th - 13th Jan 2018

Theme - Dignity, dependency & dementia

Health & Salvation 2018

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

 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 

We chose this year’s theme, ‘Young and Old’, to link with the autumn Youth Synod.

We began with a very sensitive exploration of how older and younger people respond to terminal illness, which was very helpful for any of us who might be involved with such situations, personally or pastorally. This was given by a guest speaker, Dr Jude Raper, a Consultant in Palliative Care, who works in Warwick.

Martina Rensen, who teaches languages in Germany, reflected on The Old Man and the Sea, a powerful short story by Ernest Hemingway, which explores the relation between youth and old age through the story of an elderly Cuban fisherman. Martina helped us to appreciate the richness and subtlety of the characters and the narrative.

Fr Richard Finn presented us with some fascinating paintings to ponder together, in particular versions of the Presentation in the Temple by Rubens and Rembrandt. He brought out the way in which theological perspectives are revealed in the choices the painters made.

 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 

Our second guest speaker, Sarah Wells, works for CAFOD and is one of the delegates for the autumn Youth Synod. She described to us the preparations for this, which have included several meetings with Cardinals and even the Pope, and how the young people involved have gradually been able to find a voice to share their experiences and concerns. Joshua Dixon, a seminarian from the Liverpool Diocese then introduced us to philosophical ideas about wisdom, raising interesting questions such as the relation between wisdom and experience, between wisdom and faith and between theoretical and practical wisdom.

 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 
 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 

Our final guest speaker, Fr Luiz Ruscillo, is Director of Education for the Lancaster Diocese. He led two sessions, speaking about passing on the tradition, first via a meditation on the life of Jacob in Genesis, and then using his experience in parish and youth work.

On the final day, Dr Lucy Underwood of Warwick University gave us a fascinating insight into the lives of young English Catholics just after the Reformation. She used her own research based on the answers given by seminarians entering the English College in the decades around 1600. Sr Margaret A. concluded the formal thinking by leading a discussion on how traditions are passed down the generations in our age of geographical mobility and the internet.

As usual we shared Morning Prayer and Mass together and joined the Community for Evening and Night Prayer. On Wednesday, Fr Luiz presided at Mass for the Feast of St James, and Maria Hall led the music, after a rapid and amazingly effective practice! Boarbank also offers plenty of space for quiet personal prayer, in our chapel, gardens or oratory. One highlight was Night Prayer during an evening walk to Humphrey Head, surrounded by wonderful views over Morecambe Bay just before the sun set. A big thank you to Fr Richard for his excellent sermons throughout the week!

Social - We watched two films together, The Old Man and the Sea, a classic starring Spencer Tracy, and Lion, the extraordinary and heart-wrenching true story of a small Indian boy who was lost from home, adopted abroad, and years later started to hunt for his original family on Google Earth.

 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 
 Thinking Faith Group Sunset over Humphrey Head 

We took advantage of the fine weather, with long walks to Grange and Hampsfell, and above the shore of Windermere, as well as a picnic on the lawn. 

Thinking Faith Group  Thinking Faith Group 

On the last day we assisted Sr Florence in providing a Malaysian-style meal for our Social Evening, for which we were joined by some of the Sisters. Much of the produce came from the Boarbank kitchen garden, which we had enjoyed exploring during the week.

Thinking Faith Group  Thinking Faith Group 
 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 

Community - The greatest pleasure of the weeks 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.

 Thinking Faith Group Thinking Faith Group 

A big thank you to Martina, assisted by Joshua and Lib, for the photos.

NEXT YEAR’S THINKING FAITH will also be WALKING FAITH! We are taking the theme of pilgrimage and planning walks around various local shrines and churches, with talks on related aspects of the faith. Dates will be 20th to 27th July 2019. Please put it in your diary!

Thinking Faith is open to Catholics in their 20s to 40s. If you might be interested for joining us in next year, please contact SR MARGARET for more information

Autumn Break - Reformation and Counter-Reformation

This year’s Autumn Break marked the Reformation anniversary by focusing on the arts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.

Sr Margaret teaching Autumn break

 Once again, we were treated to an intellectual and artistic feast. The scene was set on the first day with Haydn Lee's introductory lecture on Luther and the German tradition, followed by the powerful film Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes. Haydn followed up with two more presentations, moving from Germany to England - Tallis, Byrd et al. - and including some of the continental Catholic tradition.

As usual, he combined talking, playing the piano and selections from CDs in a very illuminating and enjoyable way.

Autumn break

Fr Dixie explained the theological significance of Luther, adding nuance to the story told by the film.

Rosemary Mitchell’s slide show and lecture on the art of the period showed continuities across the Reformation divide, and some fascinating recusant architecture and Joyce Simpson set John Donne’s poetry against the background of the absorbing tale of his religious journey, coming from a family of staunch Catholics, who suffered for their faith, yet ending his days as a respected Dean of St Paul’s.

Sr Margaret led a discussion on the theme ‘What is Art?’, inviting the group to consider whether the Reformation had shifted the way the question was answered. We also had a day out: to Stonyhurst, where the museum’s treasures included some Books of Hours and a hat that had belonged to St Thomas More. Haydn rounded off the week with a recital at our social evening on the last night and Joyce by leading a shared poetry reading on the final morning.

Stonyhurst college Stonyhurst college
Stonyhurst college

As usual the group was able to join in the regular Masses and daily prayer of the Community, enjoy shared meals and friendship, and visit the local area.

Next year we will move on to Faith and the Arts in the Seventeenth Century.
The dates are November 5th-9th 2018.

Please book early to avoid disappointment! If you have any questions or simply want more information then contact SR MARGARET

A taste of this year's (2018) Thinking Scripture event

This year we chose the theme of Wisdom Literature.

Fr Dixie gave us a general introduction. Dr Geoffrey Turner focused on Proverbs, Fr Dixie on Ben Sira and Sr Margaret on the Wisdom of Solomon.

We began each book with a general survey, then explored them further via the themes of ‘Living the Good Life’ and ‘The Nature of Wisdom’, supplementing the lectures as usual with discussions in smaller groups. Many of our participants were regular attenders and appreciated the stimulation of texts that were new to them.

We hope that we all ended the week wiser than we began it!

Thinking Scripture
Thinking Scripture 
 Thinking Scripture Thinking Scripture

As always, we included a cultural element, with a musical meditation presented by Geoffrey, structured around the Mass, using settings by different composers for different parts.
Participants in September were also treated to some piano music played by Haydn Lee during the social evening, and we watched Leonardo di Caprio’s Before the Flood, a thought-provoking exposé of environmental problems. On a lighter note in September we saw Love and Friendship, an adaptation of an early short story by Jane Austen.

We also made the most of the local area, with participants visiting Cartmel and the Lakes, and a smaller group enjoying a challenging climb up Black Combe in June and a gentler walk near Kendal in September.

The group were also free to participate, of course, in daily Office and Mass. Thank you to Fr John W., Fr John M., Fr Ralph and Fr Dixie for presiding and preaching at these.

Next year’s courses, two full weeks as usual, will be on the theme of the Letters of Peter, James & John.

Book early to avoid disappointment - we are filling up already!

The dates are 1st-8th June and 28th September - 5th October 2019

Please contact SR MARGARET if you think you would find this course interesting.

Thinking Faith Group

Our theme for this year was Change and Conversion.

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

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