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.
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.
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.
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