The first week of Autumn 2021 is unseasonably warm, the kind of weather that we would like to have experienced in an ‘ideal’ summer.  Yet we don’t live in an ideal world, and the increasing unpredictability in the weather mirrors uncertainty and ambiguity in other aspects of our lives.  We are being encouraged to return to ‘normal’, to travel, to go back to our workplaces.  For many this is a welcome respite from the isolation and limitations of the last 18 months, for others it is a new source of anxiety.

Exploring a spiritual path has never been more critical if we are to make sense of ourselves and the world in which we live. Developing and deepening our faith increases our capacity to ‘hold’ the personal and social challenges we all face; to maintain a sense of equanimity and trust that despite our fears, “all will be well.”  This doesn’t mean ignoring or downplaying daily reality, it’s more about acknowledging that our individual perspectives and timeframes are limited. We can see only a tiny, tiny fraction of the world, let alone all creation. We cannot hope to understand the motives and actions of the billions of people on the planet. But faith allows us to touch, even briefly, a deep felt sense that there is a greater reality grounded in God’s ever-present love.

We have decided to resume live, in person events from October. When speakers are unable to travel we will still offer online workshops, and we plan to livestream our events so that they are accessible to all.  We hope that you feel able to join us in person again.  Our centre has deep Benedictine roots, and offering hospitality lies at the core of our ethos. There’s something special about being with others, sharing a cup of tea and a hot croissant, that adds to a deeper level of sharing and experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Cockfosters soon.

Jonathan Males on behalf of the Programme Committee

9 Septmember 2021

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