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Service Times

Exposition
Visitors are welcome
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at any or all of the services.

They will be held in the chapel unless otherwise shown

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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

Thinking Faith Group

Our theme for this year was Change and Conversion.

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

Autumn Break - Faith and the Arts in the 18th Century

This year’s Autumn Break focused the theme of Faith and the Arts on 18th Century.

Haydn Lee
 
Haydn Lee
 

 

It was an intellectual and artistic feast. Haydn Lee gave us two of his musical lectures - an irresistible mix of musical knowledge, pianistic skill, superb CD selections and sheer enthusiasm. He focused on Handel and then on Haydn, and rounded off the week with a recital at our social evening on the last night.

Joyce Simpson brought to life the poets of the period, exploring Wordsworth and the French Revolution and then grace in the lives of John Newton (author of ‘Amazing Grace’) and his friend William Cowper.

Fr Dixie presented the French Revolution as the background to the artistic developments of the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Rosemary Mitchell discovered unexpected religious themes in the artists of this period, who are often seen as turning towards secular themes, and Eleanor Petch explained the ethical significance of landscape in Jane Austen.

 Joyce Simpson  Lingard's House
 Wm Taylor's Grave Lingard's Apple Tree
 

 

We also had a day out: to Hornby, where Fr John Lingard’s presbytery and garden, and much of the village, preserve 18th century features, and to the superb Georgian Catholic church at Claughton-on-Brock, where Fr Anthony Keefe graciously hosted us and said Mass for us. On another day some of us visited Cartmel and found the grave of William Taylor. He was the schoolteacher who stimulated Wordsworth’s love of poetry; Wordsworth was en route to visit this same grave when, crossing the Morecambe Sands near Chapel Island, he heard of the death of Robespierre! A film of Jane Austen’s Emma was the perfect accompaniment to the talks and trips.

 Claughton Church Local Walk
 

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

Next year we will continue the same theme with Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Arts. Book early to avoid disappointment!

If you are interested, please contact SR MARGARET

A taste of this year's (2017) Thinking Scripture event

We decided to vary our approach for Thinking Scripture this year, taking a theme, ‘God in the Bible’, rather than our usual single book. We began with a shortened course, a long weekend in mid-July and followed this up with a week in October.

 Sr Margaret teaching Fr Dixie
 

Sr Margaret introduced the theme, emphasising the development of the understanding of God through the Old Testament.

Fr Dixie gave two sessions on Exodus 3, exploring the names of God, and the idea of the revelation of God, as well as the use of sources by historians. Sr Margaret discussed the monotheism presented by Isaiah chapters 40-55, known to scholars as ‘Second Isaiah’.

Geoffrey Turner

Dr Geoffrey Turner explored different ideas about God in the Psalms, and compared various translations of the 23rd Psalm. For the New Testament, Fr Dixie looked at the historical background to St John’s presentation of God and Christ and then focused especially using the vine imagery of Chapter 15, while Geoffrey explored on the Christology of Colossians.

As always, we included a cultural element, with a musical meditation presented by Geoffrey, including settings of the Psalms by Bach, Allegri and Arvo Pärt.

Participants in June were also treated to a concert during the social evening by pianist and participant Haydn Lee, and were able to watch the Wimbledon final on the big screen, as well as enjoying together the film version of Don Camillo.

Thinking Scripture

In September we watched The Long Journey, a moving documentary about a Community of Austrian Franciscan Sisters who had to close their convent.

We also made the most of the local area, with participants visiting Cartmel and the Lakes, and a small group enjoying a longer walk in the lovely and little known Rusland Valley, a hidden gem on our doorstep.

 Rusland Valley  Rusland Valley
Rusland Valley

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

Next year’s courses, two full weeks as usual, will be on the theme of Wisdom Literature.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

The dates are 2nd-9th June and 22nd-29th September 2018.

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

The theme in 2016 was ‘Health, Wisdom and Tradition’.

Unfortunately, our original speakers were unavailable at short notice for health reasons. (We very much hope to invite them back when they are fully fit again.)

 Hope in Health 2016 Dr John McKayDr John McKay (R)
 
 Hope in Health 2016Sr Margaret Atkins Hope in Health 2016
 

Dr John McKay, who works as a hospital GP, and is also very involved in his parish, kindly stepped into the breach. He spoke about ‘Wisdom for the Next Generation’, and provoked much thought with his comparison between the NHS 25 years ago and now, and with his wonderful slide of an overburdened donkey!

Overloaded Donkey

Fr Dixie Taylor used the Wisdom books of the Old Testament to reflect on the importance of experience, community and truth in wisdom and tradition.

Sr Margaret Atkins used the original Hippocratic Oath to identify enduring fundamental principles for healthcare professionals and to consider the challenges they pose today. In a final group discussion we shared our wisdom in pondering the most important values, practices, ideals and principles to pass on to the next generation, and how we might best succeed in doing this.

Hope in Health 2016
 
 Hope in Health 2016

The programme provided the opportunity to share Mass and the Prayer of the Church with the Boarbank Sisters, to walk in the local area and to share conversation and social time as well as personal quiet. As always, many of the most important moments of the weekend came during the free time.

Fr John and Dr John

 
Hope in Health group 2016Apologies to Dom and Mary - A ray of sunlight bleached them out!

 Hope in Health 2016Hope in Health 2016
 

We plan to repeat the retreat on the same weekend next year.

To book or for further information, please contact SR MARGARET

Health and Salvation week at Boarbank, 9th - 14th January 2017

Theme: Healthcare & Time

Tea & Cake

Time to Reflect: 11th-13th March, 2016.

This year we took advantage of our local connections and chose the theme ‘Furness and the Cistercians’.

 Fr John with some of the group Chilly at Furness! 

On Saturday, we visited Furness Abbey on Saturday with a talk by Gill Jepson, a children’s author. One of the highlights was hearing about the recent uncovering of the body of a 14th century abbot, holding his crozier.

 Crozier At Furness Abbey 

The top of the crozier, decorated with a golden St Michael, can be seen in the Abbey museum.

(If you get a chance, do visit this site - it is wonderful and far too little known. CLICK HERE for the English Heritage Furness Abbey page).

Later that day Joyce Simpson led us through an excellent session on Furness Abbey in the poetry of William Wordsworth. In the evening the group watched the very powerful film about the Cistercian martyrs in Algeria "Of Gods and Men" and the next morning enjoyed a session on Aelred and friendship, putting practice into theory!

As usual, the group shared in Mass and Daily Office with the community - including Night Prayer around the fire.

Haydn Lee at the piano
On the introductory social evening Haydn Lee gave us a piano recital and told us some of the history of the piano as he did so. As usual, it was lovely to welcome old friends and new, and to give everyone a chance step out of the busy world of academia to pray and talk about the fundamental purpose of study and teaching.

The theme of friendship proved so rich that we have decided to take it for our main theme next year.

If you are, or have been, a lecturer, and might be interested in joining us, please email Sr Margaret

 

 

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