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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are having a garden day from 09:30 to 14:00 on Monday. If you are free and would like to come and keep us company for a while during that time then please come.
If you have tools then bring them but we will have a selection if you do not.
Bring sandwiches and we will provide tea and coffee. The forecast is for another glorious day. There will be plenty of time to make friends and chat.
We will be working with Gary who has kindly volunteered to help direct the work. Gary hopes to be with us once a week or so. The plan is to take the garden room by room as it were, starting with the front garden to the house.
Gardens have always been places of contemplation. There is value to be gained by creating and tending them.
The May Bank Holiday found members of HCPT Group 49 in Preston at the new premises of the Xaverian Missionaries (Tabor). We found ourselves in a beautiful centre – very peaceful and spiritual. Let me explain our connection of HCPT 49 and Xaverian Missionaries. Jim Clarke, Provincial of the Order, is also our Group Chaplin and so we were asked to come and see the new centre for a spiritual weekend. How could we refuse?? The word Spirit had been mentioned.
Usually most people preparing for a weekend retreat bring prayer books, rosaries and such like. In true 49 fashion we came armed with provisions for our retreat: Cocktail Shaker; mixers; and ice. The place was about to be christened. All joking aside on entering the little chapel, we were so overcome we had night prayer there and then which set the tone for our weekend.
Group 49 had a ball and met up with some well kent faces (Michael, Pauline and Tina) for some lunch and refreshments. Always good to see you.
On Sunday morning the house burglar alarm raised the dead (us), poor John Rogerson had to be resuscitated having us confront him in our PJs and bad hairdos. I think he can be found in a therapy house in Blackpool. Angela – watch this space.
But seriously, what a lovely place. Delighted to be part of it. We look forward to many more good times in Preston and we wish all good things for the future of the centre and the Xaverians family and friends. Looking forward to returning to Preston. Honestly we will behave.
The Xaverians are in a process of redefining our presences, programmes and services offered at both the Conforti Centre/Coatbridge and the Mission Spirituality Centre in Preston in line with our charism and the directives of our recent Regional Chapter.
We are inviting people who wish to be part of what we are hoping to shape to come to a meeting on Wednesday 6th June at 10am where we in Preston can perhaps articulate some of what we feel able to offer here.
There will also be a follow up discernment with the confreres from Coatbridge on 20th June in Preston.
Come and let’s see where the Spirit is leading us.