Monks And Moderns - Old Habits Die Hard

That was the theme of a retreat in Anglesey, which Penny Warren and I joined. It was led by Richard Adams and James Percival, Community of Aidan and Hilda co-ordinators in North Wales. It was held in the parish church at Llandonna, with refreshments in the nearby home of James and his wife Lesley, which overlooks a delightful bay.

They divided the day into sessions on these themes: 1) Early monasticism, desert fathers and hermits 2) The rise of monastic communities and Celtic interpretation 3) Medieval monasticism 4) New monasticism. Both Christians and spiritually aware non-Christians found this teaching to be as bread rather than stones, and embraced the silences that interspersed each session.

One retreatant later sent this reflection: 'The Spirit of Grace is hovering over Anglesey looking for those who see Him. He wants to touch their hearts and help and strengthen them. He wants to encourage and sustain them . Ask Him to locate and free up the places to meet and worship and He will be with you as you come together in co-operation and trust. He will move to heal and restore. Don’t try to work it out yourselves and don’t be anxious concerning where others are meeting – it will come together His way. There will be a turning of hearts in tune and harmony with our beautiful great God. This is not half measures, plodding along, “we’ll believe it when it happens”. It’s a NOW thing in people’s hearts. We are not alone – He goes before us – Our great God. Trust, trust Him!!'

If you'd like further information contact Richard or James []

Upon my return I spent a day with Fuller Seminary students on Holy Island exploring similar subjects, another day offering spiritual direction, and a third day with students of the Forge Missional training course sponsored by Central Church, Edinburgh. They simply wanted to hear 'my story'. The week ended sitting in the church opposite for a performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor by a large choir and fine soloists. God is good.

Posted at 08:30am on 30th April 2017
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