Report of the Discernment Meeting 20th June

After prayer together the notes made from the last discernment meeting were read out to refresh our memories and Jim invited us to comment and add anything further.

We made a list of all the activities going on at present to get an idea of how the building was being used and see how these fitted with the core ministry of the Xaverians, which is to make the world one family and equip those who use Tabor (it’s official title is now “Xaverian Mission Spirituality Centre”) to experience and live that out.

It was recognised that the two aspects of Spirituality and Mission are both important for the Xaverians and so the centre will need to be more than just a Retreat/Spirituality centre as it was before. In any case it was made clear by Hugh, a lay associate and employee at Coatbridge, and Frs John and Paddy who all have a lot of experience with obtaining funds for projects and therefore with what does and doesn’t work, that in order to be sustainable there needed to be a different approach to funding.

The old “plan A” – relying on money coming in from retreat days, groups, donations, room hire, accommodation etc would not work even if collaborators worked even harder to raise money and continued to give their services free. And importantly we collaborators should not feel burdened or feel responsible for working out strategies to bring in funding since this was the job of the team at Coatbridge who would be working on a business plan.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a programme of events, retreats and groups as before or that we sit back and do nothing – our continuing efforts are still needed and much appreciated! – and the events and room hire will still happen.

It was noted that making Tabor a welcoming place for all through both social events and affordable and enjoyable fund raising events is part of Xaverian outreach.

We were assured that there would be transparency about the finances so that we would always have a realistic understanding of them.

The meeting ended with prayer followed by a shared lunch.

Another successful Garden Day

Once again, thanks to everyone who came and supported us on the Garden Day this week.  Another trailer load of weeds, ivy and brash plus a vast collection of broken pots taken for recycling.  Some of the better pots will be saved. Thanks also to Rosy who took some of the surplus plant pots last week, cleaned them up and donated them to the Integrate Sow n’ Grow shop adjacent to Haslem Park.

Gary and Sue are moving forward with the front garden where there is so much to be done. Others have worked closer to the double doors from the refreshment area and conference room.

There are various ideas in play for development. We would like to recreate the bench under the arbour and train the roses to grow over it. Most of the ingredients are there but we do need a few flags to place the bench on and to keep sitters’ shoes clean.

It wasn’t all work.  We paused from time to time and had cups of tea and ate all Angela’s delicious scones which arrived just in time for elevenses.

Next week we are going to meet on Tuesday 26th June.   Please come and have a play.  No effort is too small – everyone is welcome and Angela promises there will be more scones to eat.

Sr. Anthony doing the pots.
We are up to here with weeding.
The plan is to reinstate the rose covered arbour.

What’s on?

If you get a chance could you publicise the upcoming events at Tabor?  We have an A4 poster showing our events.  It can be found here.  Could you print one off and find a notice board to pin it on?

In a week or so we will prepare an A5 version for use on parish notice boards.  If you have a flair for design and want to help us get the message out then please Contact Us.

Discernment Day: 20th June 2018

We had our first Discernment Day on Wednesday 6th June and based on that and other inputs we will move onto stage two on Wednesday 20th June.

Friends from Preston and Coatbridge will gather at Tabor at 09:30 for a start at 10:00.

The outline plan is to work through the morning until we break for a Jacob’s Join lunch.  If there is more to do then we can resume after lunch to complete the day’s task.

So, we need your input, your thoughts, ideas and prayers.  If you can make it on Wednesday then please come and take part.  Don’t forget something for lunch!

If you are unable to take part but have something to put before the meeting then please feel free to send input using the form below.

Our Privacy Policy

Its a shed, Jim, but not as we know it. *

From time to time we hope to do a bit of gentle work in the garden.  You may have seen there is a gardening day this coming Monday 18th June.

A garden needs a shed and ours was cluttered, half the roof was without felt and leaking, the door hinges seized and the door itself secured with a large rock.  A sorry sight and of little practical use.

Then came a series of inspirations followed by modifications which resulted in a transformation worthy of Cinderella.

So the next time you are enjoying the garden take time to step into the shed.  It is a different space now.  Perhaps in its turn it will inspire you too.

Take something, seek inspiration, work on it and good will come.

*A Star Trek joke.


We would like to apologise to anyone who has tried to call us recently.  For some reason our overly fancy phone system has been behaving badly.

This was first noticed by our reception volunteers who found it hard/impossible to get an outside line to make a call and also wondered why the telephone never rang.

During a meeting of reception volunteers we experimented and discovered that all calls the were being directed to the Carmelite Convent on St Vincents Road (sorry Sisters!) and that our reception phone never rang.

Lots more experimentation has resulted in us getting the system half working again although we are still without a voicemail system.  This too will be fixed.

So, if you have been calling and wondering why we never answered that is the reason.  You can either try calling us again or leave us a message via the Contact Us page.

Notes from the Discernment Meeting Wed 6th June

During the meeting on the 6th June we split into four groups to answer some key questions posed by Jim.  What follows is a transcript of the flip charts used to record the individual group discussions.  After the group discussions everyone came back to listen to the thoughts of the other groups.

This material will be used as input to the second stage of the discernment.  See our earlier news item “Discernment Day” posted 7th June.

Key questions for the groups:

  • What is our vision for this place?
  • How do we build community?
  • What can I offer?
  • How can we create a welcoming environment where everyone feels God’s love?
  • How can we make it sustainable?

Group Responses.

Group 1

  • Welcome – most important (Reception)
  • Marketing needed (Laura) social media
  • Away days – schools, NHS etc. (Form a group/committee)
  • Spiritual and Social (Burns night etc)
  • Link with voluntary organisations CBS, Age UK etc.
  • Garden – meeting with Gary
  • Structure (loose) needed (Brenda)

Group 2

Vision – Outreach & Oasis


  • Unchurched (not just church goers)
  • Agree seekers not dwellers
  • Youth/families
  • Elderly 7 cares
  • On margins
  • Prisons
  • Materially and spiritually poor
  • Servant leadership
  • Community – work in progress
  • Diversity is a strength
  • Inclusive
  • Who? WE need it. Humanity/World
  • How – Love to others. Help people learn to trust inner creativity.

Oasis – place

  • Place of welcome – cultivate this
  • Share
  • Drinking water of life – energises
  • Sustainability
  • Social activities
  • Family orientated
  • Bring in Business
  • What can I offer?
  • The best of what I can – discerning
  • My time and my commitment Gifts/Talents

Group 3

Should we advertise?
What are we offering?

  • Spiritual nourishment
  • Friendship
  • Safe haven
  • Inclusive
  • Welcoming
  • Oasis
  • Receive & give
  • Potential to move beyond the boundaries
  • Freedom to explore
  • Attract different people
  • Different activities
  • Different backgrounds
  • Diverse communities

Not just bringing people in but empowering people to go out to their own communities.
Sustainability versus Inclusivity.

  • Concessions?
  • Low income/unwaged
  • Philanthropy/Funding/access for outside groups
  • Trust in God

Group 4

  • Primarily a Catholic retreat … but much more inclusive
    Maintaining identity – spirituality but reaching out to the greater community
  • Maintain an open door policy – open to all. People on the edge – who aren’t helped. Lonely (dementia). Prisoners, LGBT etc.
  • What can I offer? Own individual initiatives and ministry. Practical help….
  • Reception, garden, cleaning etc. Greeting , Hospitality, Refreshments
    See 1 above
  • Oasis + spiritual home. Friendship
  • Friends of ….. £12 a year. Individual and Collective & Universal participation. Donation box for ‘off the street’. Annual fundraiser. Afternoon tea. Sponsored links to websites. Within and without.

(Editor’s note.  I have had to reformat this for the website.  If I have inadvertently misrepresented the sense then please let me know via the Contact Us page.)

Garden Days: Next session Monday 18th June

We had our first Garden Day on Monday 11th June.  Thanks to all who took part.  It was a great success.

Nine people, led by Gary, came and did ‘good gardening’ on a glorious sunny day.  Tea, cake and scones arrived and there was time to chat in the rest periods.  Some people popped in for an hour and some stayed for longer.  It all helped.

Beyond the fact that the garden is starting to look better there is simple pleasure in being outside and sharing in a community effort.

The next day is Monday 18th June.  We will begin at 09:30 and finish early afternoon.  Bring tools and sandwiches, bring friends but above all, bring yourself.  No contribution is too small.

The patio is starting to look a little tidier which should be appreciated by Centre users.
Clearing the beds.
Clearing ivy from the gutters and roof.
We completely filled the trailer by the end of the day.
The front garden has been neglected and needs a lot of TLC. This bed is filled with fruit bushes and all the promise of a good harvest if the birds don’t eat everything first!



Discernment Day

On Wednesday June 6th, 25 willing collaborators gathered to begin a process of discerning how best we can develop the Xaverian Mission Spirituality Centre (formerly Tabor). This is really the beginning of a process which will include also discerning with the Xaverians in Scotland on June 20th.

The time together saw us working in groups and asking some fundamental questions:

  • What is our vision for this place?
  • How do we build a community?
  • What can I offer?
  • How can we create a welcome environment where everyone feels God’s love?
  • How can we make it sustainable?

The discussions in the groups were very positive and the plenary session brought together many common themes but also many creative and new ideas. The findings will then feed into step two of our discernment with the Coatbridge community who are also undergoing restructuring and redefining.

We started our meeting by singing so beautifully “Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me/us/all” and personally, I really felt the Spirit at work.

Thanks to all and watch this space.

Calling all Reception Volunteers.

We have dates for two Reception Volunteer meetings.

  • Wednesday 13th June at 10.00am
  • Friday 22nd June at 10am

The plan is to get the Reception Volunteers together to discuss the issues and have a question and answer/familiarisation session.  We can go through some of the common issues like

  • So, how do I use this fancy phone system?
  • What do I do if someone wants to make a booking or pay for something?
  • How do I print?

We are all finding our feet.  We need to share experiences, gather the questions and work together on the solutions.  We need to improve.

Reception is not an easy role but it is vital.  We all want the Mission to succeed, with a vibrant feel and a full calendar of appropriate events.

We need Reception working to enable the calendar to be built.

If you can come then please help us provide this fundamental service.