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.
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.
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.
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.
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.