Slow down to the heart’s time

Slow down to the heart’s time

This is the 2014 PCN Members’ Residential Weekend, exploring poetry as a resource for the spiritual life. Led by Janet Morley

Start Date:
Friday 13th June 2014
Start Time:
The Windermere Centre, Lake Road, Windermere, LA23 2BY
Sandra Griffiths
0113 258 2652
Janet Morley

THE THEME. In contrast to much of our culture, which presents us with easy sound bites and invites us to skim-read our screens and move on quickly, poetry asks us to go deeper. Resisting an easy appropriation of meaning by the reader, it makes us slow down, read the text more than once (perhaps out loud), and appreciate several layers of meaning at once.

Poets are not fluffy – typically they will address the hard subjects we often avoid, like loss or fear of death. Yet they also help us to notice the illuminating details of daily life, and can communicate a sense of joy and engagement in living. Poets can contribute a rich and experimental resource to our spiritual journey, whether they are Christian writers or not.

This weekend, part workshop, part retreat, will appeal not only to those who already love poetry and maybe enjoy writing it themselves, but also to those who would like to be introduced to exploring poetry as a resource for their journey.

The weekend will include:

  • Input about poetry and a range of particular poems, both classic and contemporary (some explicitly religious, others not)

  • Discussion in small groups and plenary to deepen our response to the poems

  • Exercises to undertake alone to encourage reflection using poetry

  • The chance to share our favourite poems or work we have written ourselves

  • The opportunity and encouragement to write a poem or to learn one by heart

  • Worship and relaxation.

JANET MORLEY is a freelance writer and workshop leader, who has worked for both Christian Aid and the Methodist Church. Her most recent books are The Heart’s Time – a poem a day for Lent and Easter (SPCK 2011) and Haphazard by Starlight– a poem a day from Advent to Epiphany (SPCK 2013). These books will be available to borrow or buy at the event.

THE VENUE. The URC Windermere Centre is a resource, retreat, conference and holiday centre about 20 minutes’ walk from Lake Windermere. It has excellent facilities, and all rooms are en suite. Two rooms on the ground floor are fully equipped for disabled access with accessible bathrooms, and there is a stair-lift to the first floor. There is a mixture of single and twin bedrooms, plus one double and one triple. The house can take up to 33 people if some are prepared to share (if necessary). Up to another seven people can be accommodated at B&Bs nearby, with other meals taken at the Centre. The Centre would need to know about this well in advance, given that the weekend is in June and the Lake District is very popular.

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