St John the Baptist Parish Church
As we continue with the restrictions on our communal worship, let’s take the opportunity to redress the neglect of our inner life. I came across a blog post by a Rector in Edinburgh who offers some helpful suggestions for sustaining the spiritual life in this time of constraint, but they are also of value in normal times:
§ We begin with the presumption that we are each fully responsible for our own life of faith - no one else can live our lives for us. When we take that full responsibility, we realise more fully the impact of our choices and decisions on others. A deep exploration of the inner life always turns us outwards because it can only ever be undertaken in an attitude of deliberate self-forgetfulness.
§ None of this is to say that any of us should do without the help of others, and my second suggestion would be that the company of an experienced guide is vital. What it does mean, though, is that we take responsibility for seeking that help. An experienced guide is not necessarily one who has particular ‘credentials’, but one who practises the inner life with both seriousness and a lightness of heart.
§ A spirituality to sustain us in these times will be one that nurtures patience and one that concentrates on the ordinary, non-spectacular, everyday miracle of simply being alive. Stillness, breathing, imageless contemplation, and regularity of practice are key components of such a spirituality.
§ We should feel confident in reading and interpreting the texts that belong to our spiritual tradition. One of the main responsibilities of those who are regarded as teachers within a faith community is to nurture such confidence and encourage regular, reflective reading as an individual and shared practice. For Christians who are unable to join in regular communal worship at the moment, the reading of scripture and the classic ‘canon’ of spiritual texts connects us with the living stream of wisdom.
On the final point, we are now drawing towards the end of our online Autumn Course on Philippians, which has been a source of sustenance for those of us who have participated. If anyone else wants to join us for the final session you would be welcome. Don’t forget to do the homework first….
Revd Dr Lisa Cornwell
Church Office (firstname.lastname@example.org )
- 01344 761521
Find St John the Baptist Parish Church
Waterloo Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 7NT
There is ample parking along Waterloo Road, and around the back of the Church on the unmade road Church Street.