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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 service times please CLICK HERE or on the picture above


2 wings group

This year’s Two Wings and Some Prayers was a little earlier - 3-8 May. 

This meant that we managed to get up for the beginning of the dawn chorus!...

 Theme : Telling the Truth, 7th - 9th December 2018

This weekend brings together a group of people interested in healthcare, whether from a professional, pastoral or personal perspective.

This year’s theme was ‘Telling the truth’. Sr Margaret A. gave a talk on the question, ‘Why tell the truth?’, developing ideas from her work on St Augustine on lying.

Dr Jude Raper

Dr Jude Raper, a Consultant Doctor in Palliative Medicine spoke about telling the truth in the medical context, reflecting especially on her role in caring for adults who have terminal illnesses. She covered telling the truth to patients, to families, to colleagues and to the wider public, giving wise practical advice on how to communicate difficult matters clearly and effectively. In a final group discussion various participants raised questions about truth-telling and confidentiality and Jude shared a case study with us.

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. On the Saturday evening we watched together the film The Best of Friends, about the friendship between Dame Laurentia McLachlan of Stanbrook Abbey, Sir Sydney Cockerell, a museum curator, and George Bernard Shaw (playwright and critic).

As always, many of the most important moments of the weekend came during the free time.

We plan to repeat the retreat with the theme of 'Children & Health' in early December next year.

To book or for further information, please contact SR MARGARET


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

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.

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.

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

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