Ancient Roots And Future Routes

Wow! What a lot of hits. At our over-subscribed and sun-lit annual week-end at Windmill Farm Centre, Oxfordshire the voices of prophets and children, bishop and contemplative, forest church and Welsh Llan, soul friend and Scandinavian could be heard reaching to heaven.

Amber Cole launched The Way of Life for children. They presented it. The Bishop of Coventry highlighted the distinctive value of Saint Aidan's way. Penny Warren called us to pray out of the communion of the Triune God. Dorothy Neilson compared a revue and interviewed Tom Arundel about his unique ministry in prisons. Three Norwegians and three Danes made it over. Oyvind Borgso led us in body prayer exercises.

I gave the keynote address on the theme for our twentieth anniversary 'Ancient Roots and Future Routes: our place in the New Monasticism'. After a lunch conversation with the bishop I added this paragraph to the leadership route, having noted that the Benedictine Rule was being used as a leadership training tool:

'The bishops are focussing on the need to create stability. When people feel that ‘things fall apart, the centre cannot hold’ (Yeats) it is understandable that they want to create some protected zones. But if God is in the falling apart, might He not want leaders to abandon themselves to the process, and use tools that help them to navigate the ocean of flux without hitting the reefs? If God permits I would like to work at formatting our Way as a leadership tool. I hope others will too and that we can host leaders seminars....'

Before we left for the gathering Lars Knutsen took his vows on Holy Island. Lars works in USA, has a home in UK, and had two Norwegian parents. What synchronicity that the fifteen Norwegian friends who were on retreat after walking Saint Cuthbert's Way witnessed his vows and gave him a blessing in Norwegian.

Posted at 08:24am on 26th June 2014
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