Posted on September 5th, 2017
Neil Evans, our Centre Director, writes a welcoming and warm blog post after the long summer break here at the Centre.
Welcome back if you’ve been away, and if you haven’t, I do hope that you have had something of a break over the summer. I trust you are refreshed and ready for whatever the Autumn brings! We’re looking forward to a new term at the London Centre for Spiritual Direction, where there is a great deal going on. Here are some highlights.
Courses and events
Please do explore the website to see the wide variety of events taking place as part of our Developing Direction programme for spiritual directors who are keen to develop their skills: this year we’ve added some new treats (poetry and book club anyone?) to the regular range of courses and supervision groups. As usual, our annual Network Day for Spiritual Directors in and around London is on the third Saturday in November – this year Saturday 18 November. Please put the date in your diaries now and look out for more details coming out soon.
Stop Press: Our Encounter course, to train as a Spiritual Director, is almost full for the coming academic year, but if you’re quick there are still one or two places left. If you know of someone who might be considering the ministry and vocation of spiritual direction, do point them towards this tried and tested course (but hurry!)
Exploring Christian Spirituality offers an excellent introduction to spiritual direction while looking at a wide variety of spiritual themes. This year’s course is on Monday afternoons starting from 20 November. As always, it’s a simple, non-academic course open to people of all faith traditions and none who are interested in exploring the tradition of Christian Spirituality. Please think and pray about people to whom you might recommend this excellent course - bookings before the end of September receive an Early Bird Discount.
Church Planting and Church Growth
Our relationship with the Church Planting Centre continues to develop as we share this building together. We have much to learn from each other, and LCSD now have a standing invitation to introduce spiritual direction to course members as a part of their course. It goes without saying that to plant a new church and to be involved in church growth requires sound spiritual roots and we are glad to be able to share with this wider group. It has also helped us to think about the wider context of developing prayer and spirituality in a changing church and changing world. Developing and nurturing new Christians in an international city like London offers huge challenges of culture and approaches to faith. It’s an exciting challenge to explore new horizons and to be appropriately challenged by the demography of this great city and the rich diversity of our churches.
Community Warden and Referrals Co-ordinator
We have appointed Antonia Lynn to a new part-time post with the principal focus of matching those wanting spiritual direction with Spiritual Directors. Antonia’s knowledge and wisdom will be invaluable in offering this to seekers, rather than just encouraging people to look at a list. She will also be working with Julie Dunstan in offering support to our Community of Spiritual Directors. Get in touch with Antonia to learn more.
Weeks of Guided Prayer
Alison Christian is working hard to promote the work of the LCSD widely across London and one of her key areas of focus is the offering of Weeks of Guided Prayer to local churches. Alison is keen to hear from those who wish to be involved in offering these – or those who simply wish to know more. As a parish priest I was very aware of the impact of these events on the life of a local church, and at the Centre we know that Weeks of Guided Prayer are invaluable ways of introducing new people to spiritual direction and encouraging people to deepen their spiritual life and walk with God. Please do get in touch with Alison if you would like to explore further.
Work on St Edmund’s Church & St Mary Woolnoth
A considerable amount of work is taking place in both buildings over the summer. At St Edmund’s, this includes decorating the Vestry Hall, upgrading various rooms and adding some security doors. We are also turning one of the rooms (Hooke) into office space and relocating the LCSD office to the gallery above Lombard. Some of you might remember that our use of the meeting rooms at St Mary Woolnoth was a temporary arrangement – but I am pleased to say we’ve now secured one of them (Holland) for the long term, and are investigating ongoing use of another (tbc name!). We’ve also put in place new arrangements to limit access to the nave of St Edmund’s when it is in use for conferences and events, though it will still continue to be available at other times. Of course this means upheaval for our staff and volunteers, and for some of our users; we are grateful for your prayers at this time of change.
Come and meet us
Wednesday Morning Prayers
LCSD staff and Church Planting Centre staff meet every Wednesday morning at 9.15am for Morning Prayer (a Eucharist on the first Wednesday of the month). There is an open invitation for anyone to join us for this; you are very welcome. It’s generally followed by coffee and chat.
With good wishes for a happy September!