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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

CLICK HERE or on the picture above for normal service times

Thinking Faith Group

Our theme for this year was Change and Conversion.

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

A taste of this year's short Thinking Scripture course

(Please forgive the lack of pictures to accompany this article. We hope to add them soon!)

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. 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’.

Dr Geoffrey Turner focused on the Christology of Colossians. Participants 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 and enjoyed together the film version of Don Camillo.

An abbreviated taste of Thinking Scripture, but no less enjoyable for that.

We will be running our full week in October on the same theme - a small number of places remain.

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

2 Wings course

Two Wings and some Prayers was a birdwatching-cum-retreat week inspired by the many guests who had said that they would like to know more about birds.

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



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

Health and Salvation week at Boarbank, 11th-16th January 2016: Body, Mind and Spirit

Karen & Sr Agatha

 This year we branched out somewhat with a focus on complementary therapies. These are used by billions of people worldwide, yet conventional heathcare professionals often treat them with scepticism.

Can they teach us something? Or is it all hocus pocus?

 Sr Margaret opening the course Health & Salvation 

Sr Margaret introduced the theme with a couple of lectures taking a theological approach. What does our faith tell us about the scientific questions involved? And what does the Church have to say religiously about treatments that are closely associated with other religions?

In both areas, the Catholic tradition seemed to point to a prudent openness to whatever is good in unfamiliar traditions, without ceasing to value the tremendous benefits of conventional medicine.

Other speakers introduced us to concrete examples.

Sue L on reflexology   Dr Nuala Bent

Sr Sue Lawrenson explained the principles of reflexology, and demonstrated on one of the participants. Dr Nuala Bent, who practises Bioenergy Therapy, explained its theoretical principles with reference to the New Physics, and again ran a demonstration session.

Dr Jonathan Berry  Dr Kath Mannix 
Dr Dominic Bray Night prayer

We also watched a Horizon documentary entitled ‘The Power of the Placebo’. Dr Jonathan Berry, a pharmacologist, provided an expert overview of questions about the safety and efficacy of both conventional and complementary medication.

Another aspect of the week was following up last year’s theme of mental health. Professor Kathryn Mannix introduced us to the principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, as something useful also for ordinary life. Dr Dominic Bray spoke enthusiastically about ‘Solution-focused Therapies’, which concentrate on the positive goals that someone wants to achieve rather than on their problems. Both speakers have expertise especially in palliative care, but both these methods have proved highly successful in wider practice also.

As usual, the context was one of friendships old and new, cemented by the experience of shared prayer and meals, conversation around the log fire, and exploring the local area.

 Fr Frank and Fr David  Bay view

We are very grateful to the priests who took part for presiding at Mass each day. One evening we watched the film ‘Lourdes’, a rather quizzical fictional exploration of a possible healing. On the free day, some people went birdwatching at Leighton Moss, while others took advantage of some rare glorious sunshine to climb Hampsfell, then return via a tea-tasting (and birthday celebration) session at the Hazelmere Cafe (tea grown in Cornwall was an unexpected highlight!) and a return walk along the promenade. The tea theme also included a cream tea when Sr Anne was able to join the group from the Nursing Home. We ended the week with our usual social evening, including Compline around the fire.

Walking group  Walking group 
Kath M birthday Sr Anne's cream tea!

Next year’s Health and Salvation will be from 9th-14th January 2017 and the theme will be ‘Healthcare and Time’.

More details to follow. If you are interested, please contact Sr Margaret

Very many thanks once again to John for the photos from the week.

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