The Reverend Tim Treanor, Rector of St John’s church, once spent a month in total silence. He has now beginning a series of sessions to help other people find some stillness in their lives. Tim explains about these sessions, which he calls ‘Holy Ground’.
“Our forebears didn’t live in our hectic world with smart phones, tablets, TVs, but, like us, they found it hard to slow down and concentrate. One of the ancient ways of being still, passed on from generation to generation, is known as ‘imaginative contemplation’.
“In our imagination we enter into a scene – normally a story from the Bible – and allow it to become real to us. We notice what we see and hear, smell, touch and taste and how this makes us feel. The story becomes ‘our’ story; the experience changes us.
“Daily life can be so busy, noisy and full of interruptions. Many people long for some peace, quiet and time to reflect. But when they do stop, they find that their mind is full of ’stuff’ and there is no inner stillness!
“I was introduced to this form of contemplation about 14 years ago. At that time I was serving in the Royal Engineers and was grappling with whether to make a big change in my life.
“Eventually, I made a long retreat in North Wales – 30 days in silence with no books, on newspapers, no internet, no distractions, no escape from myself and my thoughts! Even though I had prepared, I felt anxious as the retreat began. But it was an extraordinary and fruitful time.
“Each day the person guiding my retreat gave me passages from the Bible to contemplate. The overall structure followed the birth, life, passion and resurrection of Jesus. The whole thing was nothing less than life-changing.
“I know that I am really fortunate to have been able to take 30 days out. So, I want to share something of this gift with others. Over the years, I have led many groups contemplating in this way. Each time I am struck by the peace and refreshment participants gain. An hour together passes very quickly.”
‘Holy Ground’ will meet 6 – 7 pm on Sunday 8th, 15th and 22nd March in the St John’s church hall. Anyone is welcome to join us – whether they believe in God or not!