Tag Archives: Canterbury

24 May: C is for Canterbury

019e083f-4292-4263-ac75-9e0edbf9923e

Or even ‘H is for Home’. This city has become home as nowhere else in my life, now I’ve spent more than half my days here. Here are the streets where my students have lived, the schools, community centres, libraries and halls where I’ve taught them anything from the basics of maths and English to art, cookery or even simple motor mechanics. Here is the court where I’ve supported students, the chip shop where more than one has greeted me, years after our lessons ceased …

… but here too, closer to my heart, is a family home of thirty years, infused with memories: three generations of Turnstones have made their mark – young Abel too! He had best watch out, though granddad heard about it when felt pen strayed onto the table surface! Remember too that the previous generation, our children’s grandparents were frequent visitors and remain part of the fabric of their growing up in this place.

greyfriarsfrom meadow

Canterbury is special, even if the city centre is increasingly given over to big business rather than small, let alone to worship. Even the signposts all through the town are in the corporate style of the Whitefriars’ shopping centre. And despite the continuous noise of traffic, and the fumes that poison the air, it has been a good place to raise a family. There is still green space. And we do have access to the cathedral and the deep silence of centuries of prayer.

crypt (640x481)

We may whinge about the busloads of continental teenagers spilling out of the pound shops, but we’ll miss them when they stop coming. Regimented private schools may be well-behaved, but lack their vitality.

We’ll also miss the Franciscans when they close the Study Centre and leave Greyfriars chapel this summer, but this is home, its churches, shops, level crossings and traffic queues, old friends and acquaintances, and corners unvisited except when friends stop by. I guess we’re here while the next generation are based hereabouts; this is home.

WT.

1 Comment

Filed under Daily Reflections, PLaces

16 May: Doctor of Theology – John Stone, martyr.

john stone

Much is written about St Brendan (whose day it is today) and his epic voyages across the seas to bring the Gospel to others. There is even a myth he may have reached South America. However, I wanted to write about another saint who is lesser known and whose day this is also. John Stone lived at the time of the Reformation which has become an interest of mine due to a series of novels by the historian C J Sansom. The books are about a hunchbacked lawyer called Matthew Shardlake and his adventures during tremendously unstable times for religious thinking and belief in King Henry VIII’s reign.

John Stone was a Doctor of Theology from Canterbury who opposed the King’s wish to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon. During the dissolution of the monasteries all religious were expected to sign a document which acknowledged the King as the Head of the church in England – The Act of Supremacy. John Stone refused to sign and was carted off to the Tower where, C J Sansom tells us, torture was inflicted on the prisoners. It was a brutal and grisly time – has the world improved, I wonder? John was returned to Canterbury to be tried. He was found guilty under the Treason’s Act and hung, drawn and quartered, his head and body being left on display for being a traitor.

Sansom’s novels show us the profits and land deals that were made on the back of the sale of religious houses and properties. Of course, the full truth was riddled with complexities and the changing whims of King Henry, yet those who do not follow the tenets of more dictatorial leaders, even in our times, are subject to persecution. Men of principle, such as John Stone, however, shine forth. I do recommend Mr Sansom’s books but beware, once you read one, you will want to read them all. What shall I do when I reach the end of his final book in the series? Sob!

CW.

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections

Lectures at Saint Peter’s Methodist Church Canterbury

The Contemporary Theology Group convenes lectures at St Peter’s Methodist Church on a monthly basis for the first half of the year. Entry is £3 per person per lecture, and the evening begins at 7:45pm unless stated otherwise.
Wednesday 19th April Robert Willis (Dean of Canterbury Cathedral) – Is the Church in need of a new reformation?
For more information on any of these lectures, please contact John Bown, 01227 764876, j.bown230@talktalk.net

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections

10 April: The Big Mile, or Patient Trust.

madonna-closeup-hales-pl

Jesus, arms outstretched, at the start of his earthly life. Statue at Hales Place.  The Sacred Heart emblem has been lost from his breast, but the Cross is on his shoulder.

 

One Sunday after Mass Friends of the Franciscan Study Centre walked  to Hales Place Jesuit Chapel in aid of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s Big Mile appeal. There we read the following prayer by Père Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, once a student at the Jesuit College, since demolished.

 

 

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

Ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/8078/prayer-of-theilhard-de-chardin

 

Holy Week must have seemed a long and anxious time for Jesus.

Let us bring before him all the impatience, instability, anxiety and incompleteness felt by ourselves and those we love. I ask you to remember especially all of us connected with the Franciscan Study Centre as its mission here in Canterbury comes to an end.

MMB.


Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections, poetry

12 March, Human Will VIII: An Unexpected Reward for being less than 100% committed.

snowdrop-502x640

I trust Sister Johanna will allow me to continue reflecting on human will from another angle. WT.

Litter-picking is one of those fatigues that children in school resent. It’s one thing to pick up your own litter, another when it comes to other people’s. I try not to be resentful when I do my turn around our locality – turning over scraps of paper, bottles and cardboard coffee cups, instead of stones on the beach. But that’s more difficult when it comes to cigarette ends. (GRRRR!)

I tell myself the parable about the son who didn’t want to do what his father asked, while the other just made promises. Well, the first one: ‘afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went’. (Matthew 21:29).

My repentance was less than 100%! But a little reward came my way one day just before Christmas. Shining in a ray of winter sun, a very early snowdrop.

And better, surely, to do the job with a degree of anger than not at all? I was doing what I would have done had I been 100% repentant – and the job got done.

WT.

4 Comments

Filed under Daily Reflections, Laudato si'

12 March: The world Jesus Sees – reflections on the Beatitudes with Fr Austin.

pilgrims-at-waterfall-zak-336x640

 

 

 

Tomorrow evening at 7.00 Fr Austin McCormack will give the next of his lectures on “The world Jesus sees – Reflections on the Beatitudes”.

At the Franciscan International Study Centre, Giles Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NA

01227 769349

info@franciscans.ac.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under Interruptions

Wednesday 8 March, Ex Corde Lecture: Saint John in Bonaventure’s thought.

fidc-banner

bonaventure.rye (392x800)

 

Ex Corde Lectures

Johannine Dimensions of ‘The Word of the Cross’ in Bonaventure’s Thought.

Wednesday 8 March, 7.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.

at the Franciscan International Study Centre, Giles Lane, Canterbury,      CT2 7NA.

 

The famous passage from 1 Corinthians 1:18 – ‘For the Word of the Cross is to those who are perishing, foolishness but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ – speaks eloquently of the salvific nature of Christ’s death in the thought of Saint Paul. The same is true for the great Franciscan mystic, Saint Bonaventure, who links that action of the second Person of the Trinity to the personalised experience of Francis’s stigmata and a perception of a Cross that ‘illuminates’ and is the source and summit of Christian contemplation. In this Ex Corde lecture, Father Tom Herbst OFM will relate Bonaventure’s treatment of the Pauline theme of the ‘Word of the Cross’ to his exegesis of the Gospel of John.

 

Father Thomas J. Herbst received a BA in History at the University of California at Santa Barbara, an M.Div. from the Franciscan School of Theology?Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He obtained a D. Phil. in Theology from the University of Oxford in 2001.

All are welcome. An opportunity to ask questions will follow the lecture. We ask for a small donation to cover costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections

On the Road to Jerusalem: Lent in Canterbury.

cathedralbyellie2

From Churches Together in Canterbury.

Dear Friends,
On this sunny (mostly) Shrove Tuesday, I am here in your inboxes to let you know what is going on around Canterbury for Lent. I am bound to have missed something, but here are some things for anyone looking for a way to engage with the season.There’s a mixture of events to attend and online ways to engage.
            1. ‘Conversations on the Journey’ – the Canterbury Diocese Lent Resource
From the Diocese’s website:

In a letter launching the Diocesan theme – Conversations on the Journey – Bishop Trevor wrote, “I sense that there are many transformative, and perhaps risky, conversations yet waiting to happen in our churches. I want us to encourage these in every way that we can.”

40 Days / 40 Voices: Conversations on the Road to Jerusalem

Rather than producing a traditional-style Lent course in 2017 we have produced a daily devotional called 40 Days / 40 Voices. Each day in Lent a different person from the Diocese will offer their response to a part of the biblical story charting Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem from Luke 9:51 all the way to Luke 23:56. The reflections include words, poems, artwork, photography, music. Each day’s response will take the form of a daily email which will include the scripture for the day and the reflection.

Sign up for your daily emails by visiting this site and clicking on the ‘Sign up’ link:
2. Lunchtime Lent Lectures at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Tuesday 12:30pm followed by light lunch
“Faith Expressed through the Arts”
7th March John Shirland ‘The Icon’
14th March Dr Jane Gledhill ‘Literature’
21st March Professor Ken Pickering ‘Drama’
28th March Archdeacon Jo Kelly-Moore ‘The Art of Auckland Cathedral’
4th April Professor Graham Anderson ‘Music’
3. Luther Discussion Groups at the French Church, 7:00-8:30pm on Tuesdays 14th, 21st and 28th March, and 4th April.
Discussions will be based on a brief introduction to Martin Luther’s life and ministry, and will be led by members of the French Church (ability to speak French not necessary).
4. Vineyard Lent Worship Teams
6:00pm at the Vineyard offices (behind Chaucer School) on Sundays 12th, 19th, 26th March and 2nd April.
5. Quiet Day at the Franciscan Study Centre, hosted by All Saints Church, Whitstable
10am-4pm on Saturday 25th March – ending with tea and home-made cake (please bring your own lunch)
Speaker: Rev Canon Tony Marchant
Suggested donation £10
There are only limited places left, so please contact Anne Rees to check availability and book your place.
6. “Stories from the Wilderness” – a Lent podcast series from 24-7 Prayer
The 24-7 Prayer movement and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) have partnered to produce a series of podcasts for Lent, each featuring the story of someone who has suffered for their faith. Their ‘wilderness’ experiences are shared to help us focus on our own wilderness places, and to prepare for Easter.
For more info and to find out how to download the podcasts visit:
Lyndall Bywater
Moderator, Christians Together in Canterbury

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections, Interruptions

Lectures at St Peter’s Methodist Church

The Contemporary Theology Group convenes lectures at St Peter’s Methodist Church on a monthly basis for the first half of the year. Entry is £3 per person per lecture, and the evening begins at 7:45pm unless stated otherwise.
Wednesday 15th February Dr Rowan Williams – Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A New Look
For more information on any of these lectures, please contact John Bown, 01227 764876, j.bown230@talktalk.net

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Reflections

12 February: The world Jesus Sees – reflections on the Beatitudes with Fr Austin.

pilgrims-at-waterfall-zak-336x640

 

 

Tomorrow evening at 7.00 Fr Austin McCormack will give the next of his lectures on “The world Jesus sees – Reflections on the Beatitudes”.

At the Franciscan International Study Centre, Giles Lane, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NA

01227 769349

info@franciscans.ac.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interruptions