‘Contemplative Church’ is on the first Sunday of each month at 4pm except in December this year, when it will be on 10th December 2023. This service resumes in 2024 on the 7th January.
It is a practice based on the teaching of the early desert fathers and mothers and taken up by the World Community for Christian Meditation. Locally it has grown out of a small group of local people who meet to explore prayer and silence. We are attempting to create an inclusive, meditative worshipping community, something that is recognizably ‘church’ but in a different way to that which is traditionally experienced. Essentially, the basic intention of our worship is to keep us close to the ground and open to God. Whether you belong to an established church, or have never even been inside one, we are exploring what the distinctive and complementary vocation of a contemplative church might be in our small part of this extraordinary world. Although this approach to prayer is ancient, it feels new and fresh to many who want space to be still. We’re responding to the spiritual hunger of our time by offering contemplative practice. Some people in the founding group have developed a contemplative life over many years, but many are very new to this approach to prayer. Contemplative Church is a way of opening this prayerful community to others across Bridport. It’s for everyone who is searching, including those who simply want to sit in silence with others to see what comes of it, or maybe just to find an open space to feel at home in. Contemplative Church is based at St Swithun’s church in Allington (first Sunday in the month, starting at 4pm) in the church hall and lasts about 35 minutes. This service usually features a short period of meditation framed by readings, a reflection and sometimes music, too. We use a simple form of meditation taught by the Benedictine monk Father John Main. However, anyone who comes with an existing practice of meditation, such as Centering Prayer, is encouraged to continue in their established way. In many traditions, meditation is spoken of as a pilgrimage – a pilgrimage to your own centre, your own heart, where you learn to remain awake, alive and still. For more information, or just a chat about Contemplative Church, you’re welcome to call Reverend Dan Shackell on 01308 426514.