Dear All,

These summer months present lots of opportunities for travel, for visits, for socializing, but hopefully they also offer us some quiet time on our own.  This week we are focusing on the importance of ‘time apart’ and we hope you can find some of that time.

We hope you enjoy this week blessing.  It is ‘Bless to me O God’ from Heavenly Peace.  Please pray it for anyone you know in particular need at this time.

With our love

PS We are back home today so Evening Prayer starts again tomorrow.



Come to Me all you who labour & are burdened & I will give you rest’.


Who among us does not know the feeling of being burdened?  Whether those heavy loads result from our own or from another’s experience, the invitation Jesus extends in Matthew’s gospel provides significant reassurance for us. 

We are not promised that our burdens will be immediately lifted but that we will be given ‘rest’.  Heartache may remain, physical & emotional pain persist, troubling concerns linger, & financial deficits continue. 

In the midst of what is not quickly changed or lessened, God offers the gift of abiding peace. 

The word ‘come’ tells us a lot.  It contains both invitation & reception.  It speaks of approaching and being assured of a welcome.  Both comfort & strength of helpful proportion wait to infuse our spirit if we ease ourselves into the divine embrace, if we let go of our tight hold on how we insist life ought to be. 

Jesus invites us, ‘Come, draw near.  Sit beside me.  You don’t have to do or say anything.  Let my love slip inside your heart.  I will give you rest’.



‘Come away by yourselves to a deserted place & rest awhile’ –

Mark 6.31

Henri Nouwen wisely noted, “Somewhere we know that, without a lonely place, our lives are in danger.” Jesus and Nouwen were not referring to loneliness. They were urging a temporary departure from others in order to have the essential quiet space for a healthy inner life. Jesus’ invitation came out of his experience of being immersed in constant activity. People hungered for his presence and healing abilities. He knew the importance of going apart for prayer and renewal.

Every person needs some solitude. Parents with young children long for even snippets of it. So do people forced to work two or three jobs to pay their bills. Monks and nuns would seem to have a sufficient amount of solitude but even they must make real efforts to attain enough of it. Today, rather than bemoaning the inhumane tendency of people’s being busy every moment of their waking hours, it is more valuable to set an example by deliberately taking time for our own necessary solitude.



Before You, My God

To be there before you, my God, that’s all.

To shut the eyes of my body,

To shut the eyes of my soul,

And be still and silent,

To expose myself to you who are there, exposed to me.

To be there before you, the Eternal Presence.

I am willing to feel nothing, Holy One,

 to see nothing,

 to hear nothing.

Empty of all ideas,

of all images,

In the darkness.

Here I am, simply,

To meet you without obstacles,

In the silence of faith,

Before you, my God.

But, Eternal Presence, I am not alone.

I am a crowd, dear God,

For people live around me.

I have met them.

They are part of my life,

They have settled down,

At times they have worried me,

Even tormented me,

They can devour me.

And I allow it, my God, so that they might be nourished and refreshed.

I bring them to you too, as I come before you.

I expose them to you in exposing myself to you.

Here I am,

Here they are,

Before you, Holy One.




Prayer is like watching for

The kingfisher. All you can do is

Be there where he is like to appear, and


Often nothing much happens;

There is space, silence and


No visible signs, only the

Knowledge that he’s been there

And may come again.

Seeing or not seeing cease to matter,

You have been prepared.

But when you’ve almost stopped

Expecting it, a flash of brightness

Gives encouragement.

Ann Lewin