We are delighted with the appreciation shown for this autumn’s Spirituality events for Associates and others, write Rosey Feuell, our Associates retreart secretary. From Wales, Oxfordshire and far beyond our shores, we have heard voices affirming our endeavours to transform this era’s restrictions with remotely delivered events encouraging us to deepen our experience of our Lord right where we are.

The Revd Angela Butler offered us a wonderful Quiet Day – Between St. Francis and St. Luke – easily accessible from CSMV’s website, presenting healing lessons from God’s Creation and reviving courage for dark winter days. Worship, visuals and prayer signals gave inspiration to over 100 supporters, possibly families and friends as well. This was flexibly available from 16th October for several weeks, in manageable sections facilitating prayer and reflection.

From 26th to 30th October we had adventures of another kind, where the nationally known priest-poet, The Revd Malcom Guite, addressed our Conducted Retreat group on Zoom. We kept the Convent pattern of morning and early evening worship; each session focused a different aspect of the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day.. “, “For Thine is the kingdom…” and so on.   There was space for listening, sharing observations and questions – and circulating supplementary poems and other suggestions round the group. 17 Associates, Oblates and others linked with CSMV took part.

On the final morning Stella, Sister in Charge, came to greet and encourage the group, enfolding us in words of blessing. We also enjoyed a recording of some of the Sisters singing a George Herbert poem “The Call”. (You too can enjoy it by clicking the link.)

We preserved that sense of intimacy with one another in retreat, and beloved links with the Community and Convent.

These occasions were both wonderful contexts for bringing all parts of the CSMV family together and “overcoming the world” by collaborating fruitfully despite the pandemic. We are exploring how to continue to develop this kinds of offerings for those unable to congregate in Wantage whenever they wish.