“To quicken a festival in the innermost heart”
These words come from Roger Schütz, popularly known as Brother Roger, the Swiss monastic who in 1940 founded the Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic community in Burgundy, France, and served as its first prior until his death in 2005.
Brother Stuart, of Mucknell Abbey, an Anglican Benedictine monastery in Worcestershire, will lead the 2018 Canterbury pilgrimage, structuring a series of meditations and discussions around Brother Roger’s intuition of a new beginning. Brother Roger envisioned “a springtime for the church, a Church devoid of means of power, ready to share with all; a place of visible communion for all humanity.”
Of course, if it is to be a true springtime, it can only come after a winter, which entails a stripping away to what is essential.
Brother Stuart’s sessions exploring this vision and its meaning for each of us will fit within the rhythms of Canterbury Cathedral, a universal place of pilgrimage. Participants will live the daily cycle of prayer at the cathedral, from Matins to Evensong, while honoring the Benedictine framework by including times each day for manual work, study, silence and community.
A Benedictine Experience is neither a silent retreat, nor a seminar, though it contains elements of both. It is a time to step back, but also a time to step into an ancient rhythm, living within a framework that has for 1500 years fostered balance and sanity in times of turmoil.
Mucknell Abbey is made up of professed monks and nuns, novices, and ‘alongsiders’, who live with the community, perhaps to explore a possible monastic vocation or simply to experience the monastic life for a time. A large part of the ethos of the community is ecological sustainability.
LODGING Participants will be accommodated in the Cathedral Lodge of the International Study Centre located within the secluded Precincts of the Cathedral. Each room has an en suite bath and superb view of the Cathedral. The Lodge has its own dining room, library, lounge and garden.