2021 Programme

We are resuming ‘in person’ events from October 2021.  We ask that you do not attend if you are feeling unwell or exhibiting COVID symptoms, and we will encourage sensible distancing and personal hygiene.  You do not need to wear a mask but feel free to do so if you wish.

If you have any questions please email cockfosterscs@rcdow.org.uk

Edward Thomas’ poems about nature and the English countryside

John Cairns

Virtual Event via Zoom

Friday 17 September, 7 pm  – 9.30 pm

Just over 107 years ago, on June 24 1914, a train pulled up at a village halt in Oxfordshire.  On board was the poet Edward Thomas, who kept a field diary in which he noted details of things he observed, often on the surface very trivial.  On this occasion nothing happened of any note, except that the engine let off steam and somebody coughed.  And in the silence, he heard a blackbird singing and saw the station sign, Adlestrop.  A minute later the train continued its journey to Worcester.  Months later, he turned this non-event into a 16-line verse which is one of the greatest evocations of the English countryside, one of the most anthologised poems of the last century.Blackbird34

In this session, we will be taking an in-depth look at this poem, Adlestrop, plus a number of others that will help us appreciate why many regard Thomas as one of the great writers about nature and the English countryside.

John Cairns is a former English teacher, now retired, who has had a lifelong interest in the poet Edward Thomas.  Well before Thomas became the popular poet that he is today, John taught his poems to secondary school students, visited places associated with the poet and his poems and, in the mid-1970s, spent an enjoyable and illuminating afternoon having tea with his one surviving daughter, Myfanwy.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom. We will record this session.

Journaling as Prayer

Andrew Kerr-Jarrett


16 October, 9.30 – 1.00 pm

Journaling can be a wonderful help in deepening our prayer life. In this workshop, we explore different ways of using spontaneous writing to draw us into closer encounter with God, scripture and our own histories. Bring lots of paper (or a favourite notebook with plenty of blank pages) and pens, or your laptop with the battery well charged.91KNwuvtHyL._AC_SY355_

Andrew Kerr-Jarrett: Twin passions for prayer and writing first led Andrew to explore the possibilities of journaling as prayer. A writer and editor by profession, he was involved for many years with the Mount Street Jesuit Centre (now the London Jesuit Centre), where he facilitated courses on Ignatian spirituality, as well as workshops on journaling.

Earthed in God: Four movements of spiritual growth

Chris Chapman


20 November, 10 am to 3.30 pm

In the Bible spiritual growth is likened to the natural development processes of plants, and the part played by gardeners, whether human or divine. Earthed in God will explore four recurring movements of this growth:

  • Becoming rooted and grounded in God
  • Emerging into being in response to God’s invitation
  • Struggling towards abundance through resistance
  • Bearing fruit and being willing to fall

Jesus, the teller of parables, invites us to hold the mystery of creation in mind and heart, like seed in the hand of a sower. ‘Look’, he says. ‘See what happens if you are grounded in God’s good soil. Behold the wonder of who you are and what you might become.’Wisley-resized-for-web-1

Christopher Chapman is a guest director of individually guide retreats for St. Beuno’s Jesuit Retreat Centre, and teaches spirituality for St. Augustine’s College of Theology. Formerly he was Spirituality Adviser for the Diocese of Southwark. He is the author of Seeing in the Dark, Earthed in God: and Send my Roots Rain: Refreshing the spiritual life of priests, all published by Canterbury Press.

To register please email cockfosterscs@rcdow.org.uk


Online morning Courses: Suggested donation £20.  Concession for unwaged £15.

Online evening: Suggested donation £10, £5 concession

Online full Day: Suggested donation £20. Concession for unwaged £10.

In person half day: £20, £10 concession

In person full day £30, £15 concession (includes soup for lunch)

We don’t want cost to be a barrier – so please pay what you can afford.

To make a donation please use this link where you can make an online payment  https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/cockfosters/donate/ 

and put CCS as your reference.

One comment on “2021 Programme

  1. Alison says:

    I really enjoyed this mornings’ workshop ‘From crisis to opportunity’. It was very insightful and relevant. I was able to take away a toolkit for coping with the challenges brought about by the pandemic. There were some very useful and practical suggestions made by the facilitator. I really enjoyed the breakout session where we were able to share and explore issues at various stages in the workshop. Thank you Mary Jo, thank you, Jonathan and to the lovely group of people who were also participating in the workshop.

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