This year’s Autumn Break went backwards in time from the Seventeenth Century to the Middle Ages.


We began a reading by our local poet Neil Curry of his own translation of The Dream of the Rood, and Neil treated us to more of his poems during our final social evening. Joyce Simpson continued the literary theme with two profound meditations on the writings of Julian of Norwich, both setting her ‘showings’ in their own period and revealing their relevance for today. Haydn Lee once again expanded our musical horizons, introducing us to the riches of The Eton Choir Book, along with better known composers such as Hildegard of Bingen. He too enriched our social evening with a recital, in combination with our local singer (and member of staff) Sue Harrison. Meanwhile Rosemary Mitchell took us on an artistic, architectural and devotional tour of a virtual late medieval English parish church. Sr Margaret complemented this with a slide show on artistic representations of the life of St Augustine, in San Gimignano and in Carlisle. A new guest speaker, Henry Summerson, an expert on Cumbrian monasticism, gave us a detailed and illuminating account of the material culture of the monasteries on the eve of the Reformation.

Autumn Break 2019 Autumn Break 2019

The day out took us to Brougham Hall, where we found traces of the middle ages in the remains of the building. The hidden gem was the wonderful fourteenth century St Wilfrid’s Chapel, rebuilt by Lady Anne Clifford, but with abundant medieval treasures within. We are most grateful to the warden for allowing us access, The complex also boasts a positively twenty-first century teashop, which on its own would have been worth the journey.

Autumn Break 2019 Autumn Break 2019

The guest house was full with friends old and new for this very popular event. As usual the group was able to join in the regular Masses and daily prayer of the Community, enjoy shared meals and social time, and visit the local area.

We are very grateful to our wonderful speakers for agreeing to return next year.

Our subject for 2020 will be Faith and the Arts: Newman and the Romantics.

The dates are November 16th-20th. This course fills up quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment!

If you have any questions or simply want more information then contact SR MARGARET