Sunday, 24 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 24: Birth and rebirth

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 24: Birth and rebirth: If you've missed any of these posts and want to read them click on the Advent 17 link (also in the right hand sidebar) and you should ...

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Friday, 22 December 2017

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Monday, 18 December 2017

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Saturday, 16 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 16: The birth of Samson

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 16: The birth of Samson: Judges 13 Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor...

Friday, 15 December 2017

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Monday, 11 December 2017

Sunday, 10 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 10: It’s a girl!

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 10: It’s a girl!: Genesis 30. 21 Afterwards Leah bore a daughter, and named her Dinah. This is one of only two mentions I have been able to find in t...

Friday, 8 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 8: The Handmaids’ Tale

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 8: The Handmaids’ Tale: Genesis 30.1-13 So Rachel gave Jacob her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son…The...

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 6: Rebekah bears twins

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 6: Rebekah bears twins: Genesis25.19-18 “When Rebekah’s time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb.” Abraham and Sarah’s son, Isaac, grew...

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 5: The daughters of Lot

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 5: The daughters of Lot: Genesis 19. 30-38 “Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father”. Anyone under the impression that the Bible is a...

Monday, 4 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 4: Sarah bears Isaac

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 4: Sarah bears Isaac: Genesis 21. 1-7 “ Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.” After many ye...

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Closer - Exploring Christian Spirituality

December news from Rochester Diocesan Spirituality Network

The new Rochester Diocese Spirituality Newsletter is here with news of opportunities around the Diocese for Spiritual growth and development. There's a questionnaire on page 9 to fill in too, so please fill it in and return it to Val Butler  St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL . They can be emailed to

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 3: Hagar bears Ishmael

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 3: Hagar bears Ishmael: Genesis 16 “Abraham went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistr...

Saturday, 2 December 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 2: Eve bears Seth

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 2: Eve bears Seth: Genesis 4.25 Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child inste...

Friday, 1 December 2017

News from the London Centre for Spiritual Direction

Thanks to everyone who came to the Network Day a few weeks ago.  We felt very blessed to be part of this wonderful community.

At the network day, we mentioned that we are looking for volunteers for a photo shoot which is happening from 9.30 to 1.00pm on Friday January 12 2018.  We have booked a professional photographer, who took many of the images of the church and people attending last years network day that appear on our website.  For this project, we have given him the brief to take photos of people in pairs as if they are in a one-to-one spiritual direction setting.  These images will be used on our website and in new print publicity.   If you would be willing and able to come along to the centre to take part in this photo shoot, please email
  We only need 30 minutes of your time and you won't need to commit to the whole morning.  We will have tea, coffee and cake for all volunteers!

Finally, just a gentle reminder about our Christmas opening hours.  From Monday 18 December, the building and the main doors will be closed to the public. Those with one-to-one appointments or other room bookings can access the building by the vestry door on George's Yard. We look forward to re-opening as normal on Wednesday 3 January 2018, and wish you all a blessed Advent and Christmas 

We hope you enjoy the newsletter.  There are the usual announcements about events and workshops happening here, news from our friends and then this month we hear from Alison Christian who tells us all about her work in her letter 'Growing like Topsy.'. 

Growing like Topsy
December Letter from Alison Christian
Advisor and Advocate for Spiritual Direction

Anyone who has ever watched teenagers grow will be aware that they appear to grow in different places at different stages and according to their sex.  It seems to me that girls, for example, are often taller (and beginning to look like young women) at eleven or twelve whilst their male classmates still look like little boys.  Then, I've noticed that suddenly the boys sprout in their legs; they are all legs - until their torsos begin to thicken, sometimes becoming quite chubby for a bit.  Finally, everyone reaches a sort of normal and growing up has finished, at least physically.

I am starting a new work for  LCSD and at the moment it feels very adolescent with growth spurts going off in all directions and not necessarily according to (my) original plan.  But I am sure it is part of God’s plan!  With what I hope will eventually be a team, I am trying to encourage prayer through supporting communities in offering Weeks of Accompanied Prayer (called by some Retreats in Daily Life).  There is nothing new about these Weeks.  Many of you have been offering such Weeks and guiding on them for some years.  The difference with this is that we want to try to get these guided prayer experiences into the DNA of local churches; to make them as common and normal in a community as a Lent course or Confirmation Preparation.

We need to face the fact that in the Church we have generally been quite poor at teaching people about prayer experientially – and this is the only way to learn.  In Weeks of Accompanied Prayer people commit to daily prayer and sharing with a prayer guide each day.  They are given guidance on how to pray In different ways, according to need, and passages from scripture are suggested with which they might like to pray.  And the great thing about all this is that the participants don’t have to go away from home because the retreat comes to them and works round their everyday life.

Back to Topsy.  The growth spurt in the work is in the response we have received so far from others whom we did not expect to respond so enthusiastically and with their own needs.  Our first booked Weeks are not with our target communities as I imagined them.  But perhaps, as usual, I was making my God and his reach, too small.  What is great about Topsy’s growth is that it has given me time to realise that I need extra food for these hollow legs. I need more people and structures in place before we can go London-wide, and that is what I am working on now. Watch this space.

Workshops and Offerings

Short and Sweet: Working in Weeks of Accompanied Prayer and Retreats
12 January 2018, 11am - 4pm
Cost: £45
Led by Sr. Lynne Baron
Usually offered by a church community, weeks of accompanied prayer are a popular and fruitful way of supporting Christians in their everyday life to focus on prayer and their life of faith. This day will look at the particular focus needed and the challenges and gifts that such a format presents to spiritual directors. Read more and book

Safeguarding and Spiritual Direction
Friday 16 February 2018, 11am - 4pm

£30 full price; £27 for members of the Community of Spiritual Directors

Safeguarding Training is now an ethical mandate for spiritual directors who wish to follow the Centre’s Code of Practice. If you’ve not attended a course anywhere in the last five years, we encourage you to sign up now for this workshop. Read more and book.


Prayer and Meditation at LCSD

There are several ecumenical opportunities for prayer and meditation at LSCD.  Every Monday lunchtime, we hold contemplative prayer sessions from 1 - 2pm in the Addison Room above the Vestry hall.  On Wednesday morning from 9.15 - 9.45am, morning prayers in the main church are held and all are welcome.  Also on Wednesday morning from 8.00 - 8.45, small meditation group is held in Lombard or Addison Room (depending on numbers) from 8.00 - 8.45am and all are welcome.

From Our Friends...

Nurturing the Spirituality of Children
Six week course for parents

31 Jan 2018 - 14 March 2018
St Augustine's College, Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, London, SE1 1HW
Owing to the popularity of Ronni Lamont’s course on children’s spirituality, we are delighted to announce that St Augustine’s will run the course again, this time at our Southwark teaching at Trinity House. Nurturing the Spirituality of Children … Trailing Clouds of Glory” will start in the new year.  Read more and book

ISC Open Days
15 March 2018/17 May 2018, 2 - 4pm
If you’ve been contemplating Ignatian training and would like to meet course leaders to find out more, please follow the links to book a place.
Open Day 15 March 2018
Open Day 17 May 2018

Comprehensive information about the Ignatian Spirituality Course may be found on our website:

June 15 – 17, 2018

Ascot Priory
Led by John-Francis Friendship

This weekend retreat, set in the context of silence, invites you to enter into the compassionate heart of God through different perspectives – the Heart of the Father; the Heart in Silence; the Heart of Compassion, the Heart’s Gaze and the Heart’s Softener. Go to  Compassion Retreat 2018 for more information.

Question of Accreditation?
Elizabeth White and Lynette Harborne,  both spiritual directors, supervisors and trainers are interested in exploring the potential for an accreditation scheme.  They have set up consultation events around the country about the possibility of setting up a accreditation scheme for spiritual directors.  You can join the conversation and find out more by going to Reflective Spaces

Registered Charity No: 1089883

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St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 1: Eve bears Cain & Abel

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A child is born 1: Eve bears Cain & Abel: Genesis 4.1-17 Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have produced a man with the help of the Lord...

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A Child is Born - Advent Reflections starting Dec ...

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: A Child is Born - Advent Reflections starting Dec ...: At the heart of the Christmas story is an act of childbirth. Without it, there would be no story. That is so obvious that it may seem a...

#Godwithus Advent resources

Following their successful #Joytotheworld resources last year, the Church of England had launched this year's Advent resources #Godwithus. Find out more here.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Anyone else "ploughing the fields and scattering" ?

We sang this hymn yesterday at our Harvest Festival, so I thought I would re-share the blog post from our series on hymns earlier this year, in case anyone else is "ploughing the fields and scattering " at the moment!

St Peter and St Paul, Seal: Singing the Faith: Day 29: Songs for the Seasons: We plough the fields and scatter In the final week of our series, we will think about hymns which mark particular seasons of the year,...

Monday, 7 August 2017

Quiet Day at 65 Maidstone Road, Chatham

Please bring a packed lunch – drinks will be provided
There will be no charge for the day, but donations would be gratefully received
For more information or to book a place on the day please contact Sue Smith
01634 250291 or

Friday, 7 July 2017

London Centre for Spiritual Direction newsletter

Welcome to our July newsletter!

Our letter of the month comes from Julie Dunstan who tells us more about next year's ongoing formation programme. We also have information about our Exploring Christian Spirituality course along with information from our friends and partners at The Retreat Association and the Ignatian Spirituality Course.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Enneagram, there are just six places left on the 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' happening next Friday 14 July so please book your place today if you'd like to attend

Our nascent blog is proving to be very popular so if you haven't discovered it, you might be interested in checking out some of the recent articles including: Gill Sewell writing on A Quaker's Journey Towards Spiritual Direction
,  Antonia Lynn on Holding the Mystery and our very own Alison Christian on Why Did God Let This Happen?  If you have an idea for a blog article, please do get in touch with us at 

As a reminder, the Centre will be closed to the public from the 31 July to the 4 September although room bookings and individual meetings will happen as usual. 

Letter from Julie Dunstan
Introducing our new ongoing formation programme

The ministry of spiritual direction is deeply important to the life of the church and the world and so we need good company and nourishment for the journey. With our now-clear and single focus, the London Centre for Spiritual Direction can be even more dedicated to the needs of spiritual directors and their ongoing support and development.

I'm delighted to announce our new and expanded ongoing formation programme for the coming year.  This year's Developing Direction programme includes a wider range of options and times and a rich blend of themes and practice issues.

Our ever-popular programme of monthly Fridays continues with an exciting and inspiring range of speakers and topics. Deepening Direction goes into its second year - supporting those wishing to further develop the art of listening. New this year is a Poetry and Book Club meeting on Monday evenings; a series of workshops we are calling 'Reaching Out' which are designed to promote spiritual direction in the community; and some ad-hoc days and courses under the title, Practice Issues.

In addition to this ongoing programme, there are still a few spaces left for the autumn intake of Encounter, our three year formation course. If you are interested in applying, please go to Encounter
to find out more and download an application form. Alternatively, please email the Encounter Administrator

Do have a really good browse (see below for further details and links) and sign up soon.  We’ve got a wonderful year ahead.

With every blessing for the summer and we look forward to seeing you.

Julie Dunstan

The Friday Programme
Monthly programme of workshops
Dates: Fridays beginning 6 October 2017
Cost: £380 to book the whole series (includes a £45 discount) or £45 per workshop

The ongoing Friday programme resumes in October with a very rich series of days led by experienced and inspired practitioners. As spiritual directors it’s easy to feel isolated and somewhat depleted. This is a good chance to both find community and be nourished in the vital ministry you offer.
Read more and book

Deepening Direction: From Novice to Apprentice
Dates: 9 Fridays monthly
from 29 September 2017 to 20 July 2018
Cost £400

The purpose of the course is not to give more knowledge of topics linked to spiritual direction, but to offer the participants an experience of giving spiritual direction, and developing their craft through kindly observation, feedback, and reflection on what happened in each session.
Read more and book

Poetry and Book Club
Dates: Monthly on Monday evenings, 6 - 8pm
9 October 2017 to the 11 June 2018
Cost: £100 for the whole course

The Poetry and Book Club is a relaxed space for insight, inspiration, support and friendship for spiritual directors.  The group will decide on the poets and books for the year at our first meeting, with suggestions from the group leader. The books chosen will pertain to spiritual direction and the spiritual life.
Read more and book

Reaching Out
Dates: Monday daytimes and evenings throughout September and October
Cost: £45 per day; £25 per evening

Reaching Out is a series of days and evenings to promote spiritual direction in the community.

Weeks of Guided Prayer, or Weeks of Accompanied Prayer as they are also called, provide many people in the community with their first experience of spiritual direction. The Centre will be in the fore-front of promoting and providing this experience more widely in local churches.
Read more and book

Practice Issues
Dates: To be announced
Cost: £45 per day

One-off days as the need arises, on various topics on issues related to your practice as a spiritual director. Topics planned include Supervision for Spiritual Directors and Safeguarding for Spiritual Directors. This part of the programme may be added on an ad-hoc basis throughout the year.
Read more and book

Early Bird Discount: Book before end of September

Exploring Christian Spirituality (ECS)
Dates: Monday Afternoons, 2pm - 4:45pm
from 20 Nov 2017 to 21 May 2018
Cost: £390 full cost; £360 if booked before 30 September 2017

Once again, ECS will be a simple, non-academic course facilitated by John-Francis Friendship and Nicola Mason. It is open to people of all faith traditions and none who are interested in exploring the tradition of Christian Spirituality.

Read more and book

From our Friends and Partners...

Applications are invited for two courses run by our friends at the Ignatian Spirituality Course, beginning at the end of September:

- A 3-year, in-depth training in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and Art of Spiritual Direction: Informed by the study of, and the wisdom and insight found in Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises.  Read more here 
-  A 1-year 'Top-Up' course: if you are already a trained and practising spiritual director, this course will inform and enhance your skills and practice.  Read more here

For more information and to book your place, please email the ISC Administrator

Invitation to the Retreat Association Summer Event
The Retreat Association is holding their Summer Event Friday 14 July 2017  at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Limehouse, London.   Read more and book