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St George's Cathedral

The Next Step for the
Centre for Spirituality

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The Revd Ian Crooks, Interim Director

The Welsh poet, W B Yeats, said ‘the journey into the inner self is not just the important one, it is the only one’. But, as we explore our inner space, we will become aware of conflicting desires. How we respond to those desires forms the nature of our spirituality.

John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic, begins his account of the soul’s journey with these words, ‘One dark night, fired by love’s urgent longings’. As with John of the Cross and W B. Yeats, we all have a spiritualty to be explored, or as Rowan Williams would say, ‘a life in the spirit’. We all experience stirrings, longings, desires deep within us. These desires and longings may be expressed in two ways: either in a loving, creative and life-bringing way or in a damaging, disrespectful and evil way. It all depends on how we respond to our desires.

And our response will largely be shaped by what we believe and the values and disciplines we choose to live by, in how we conduct ourselves in relation to others. To have an awareness that we are spiritual beings ‘who happen to have a body’ (to paraphrase C S Lewis) enables us to see beyond the outward, the material, the superficial manifestations of the world, giving us resources from which to draw which will help us make sense of reality and the meaning of life itself. We are all blessed with such a capacity; we are all spiritual beings.

This year’s programme of presenters at the St George’s Cathedral Centre for Spirituality cover a variety of topics, some more obviously religious than others. But all will cover aspects of life that impact upon us, or which we choose to experience and explore. In some cases the spiritual dimension may appear obscure, in others more overt, but each presentation promises to be enriching, sustaining and / or challenging.

The programme builds on the foundations of over 15 years of the faithful, inspiring and prayerfully led ministry of Bishop David Murray, who has stepped down as Founding Director. However, the Centre for Spirituality will continue as a significant aspect of the Cathedral’s mission and outreach ministry. This year’s programme brochure is now available from the Cathedral or on the Cathedral’s website.

As well as the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, there will be three Saturday morning offerings, to enable those who work weekdays to ‘taste and see’ the graciousness of God in:

  • Anglican spirituality in the English Reformation
  • The Way of Holiness of the Oxford Movement
  • Spirituality and the Online world

Also the familiar and much valued Music Programme continues with Magellan offering three Thursday concerts led by Faith Maydwell. These are free, with donations taken in support of St Bart’s and Anglicare. And two lunchtime Concerts at One are scheduled, performed by talented school musicians. These too are free.

All in all, an interesting and diverse offering to feed our souls and bring us nearer to each other and nearer to God, already within and amongst us, yet still beyond us!

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