Thursday, 10 May 2018

London and Bath

I've been staying in London at Meditatio House - where are small community of two oblates with the Christian Meditation community lives permanently and hosts guests and visitors (like me) who visit from time to time. We're in Cloudesley Square - a lovely quiet spot in north London, in which the wisteria is trailing over door-frames and it's been possible to sit out in the garden in some lovely warm spring weather. I'm with Elba, from Colombia, and Henriette, from Holland, is taking the photo.

I've spent most of my time inside at my desk, wrestling somewhat with the talk that I'll be giving next week in London, at an event with James Alison. It has been a bit of a wrestle, but I think it's finally coming!

Then yesterday I travelled to Bath on the train and gave a talk at an evening organised by the meditation community there. I walked from the station up the edge of the lovely River Avon.

To my surprise, about 100 people came to the talk. My topic was 'Contemplative Christianity for the World Today' with significant reference to the experience of Benedictus! There were lots of questions and interest, and it was great to have the chance to articulate some of what we are learning and what it might mean for churches in the future.

This morning, I got to sightsee a little in Bath - and what a beautiful city it is. This pub was across the road from where I was staying - I took the shot in honour of Neil on Camino, trudging through Moorish Spain!

Next stop was Bath Abbey - originally a Benedictine foundation from the 8th century.

On the facade by the main door was something I've never seen before on a cathedral - a depiction of Jacob's ladder, and the 'angels ascending and descending' (though mostly they seemed to be ascending!).

Lots of memorial inscriptions on the walls and the floor (under which the 'remains' lie) - this one took my fancy particularly.

Inside, there was the most glorious fan vaulted ceiling.

And then, of course, I was off to take the waters - the Roman baths.

A small amount of Jane Austen nostalgia ensued - a visit to the Pump Room, the Assembly Rooms and the famous Circle of beautiful Georgian townhouses!

I'm now safely back in London - and tomorrow head up to Derby - where there's a weekend seminar on Christian mysticism, at which again I'm giving a workshop on our experience of being a contemplative church.

I send my warm greetings to you all for this coming weekend, and much love.



  1. Stunning photos, Sarey. And for my sore eyes the first one was definitely a welcome sight!! I hope Derby goes really well as you spread the word about Benedictus. Love Neils

    1. Sorry, I meant the second one!!

    2. Nice clarification!! Just as well I'm not displaced in your affections by a street sign! love me

  2. Looks like you’re having a very busy time, Sarah, but what a blessing to be among like-minded seekers from across the world!

  3. Wonderful to see some of what you are seeing Sarah and get a feel for the places you have been visiting. I have enjoyed the details of your photos, especially the memorial stone - love that it takes half the stone to say they need more space for words! It's good to hear of the felt sense of all being part of the same work as contemplatives, and interesting to know of others' interest in Benedictus.

  4. Wow!!! Thanks for that sharing Sarah. What amazing buildings. I loved the fans in that building. Good to hear you are taking in the sights as well as sharing with other like minded people. I feel sure your talk will come together for your sharing with James. Holding you in prayer.

  5. Lovely photos and commentary, Sarah. I was taken with the angels on Jacob's ladder - they could be going up or down, how can one tell? What I liked was that there are angels depicted between us and heaven that presumably form the communication lines (no wifi?) and enable prayer traffic in both directions. That is somehow comforting, especially as we are about to start our next Theology Reading group on Prayer.

    Blessings to you. You look very relaxed and in your element, but don't enjoy it too much - we want you to return home! Love, Heather