A Quiet Day at Home

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Apr, 2020 10:09 PM

When a Benefice Quiet Day at the Langford Lakes had to be cancelled, one Wiltshire priest invited his parishioners to set up their own 'Quiet Day at Home'.

The Revd Jonathan Plows, Priest in Charge of the Wylye and Till Valley Benefice, provided the materials - print outs, PDFs, YouTube clip, and even crayons, to experience the theme of ‘Thin Places’.

Jonathan explains:

“The day drew on on Celtic Christianity’s tradition of seeking to experience God more directly, usually in a physical place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin and the divine can be sensed more readily.

“Throughout life, we are drawn to places that bring calm or inspiration, sanctuary or distraction. Wherever those places are, they effect some kind of positive change in us - they transform us, so that when we leave them, we feel all the better for having been there.

"As the day progressed, it felt like we were creating our own thin places, our own intimacy with God, connected both with the divine and those travelling with us, "content with living the questions, without having to know all the answers."

“After Morning Prayer, the day followed a repeated pattern of reflection, Bible readings, prayer and activity, ending in a socially-distanced walk. We explored biblical stories of locations where heaven and earth met, Eden and Sinai for example, Celtic thin places, such as Iona and Lindisfarne, and those with which we are more regularly familiar - churches and cathedrals.

“Perhaps our current greatly restricted circumstances might be seen as a chance to discover our own thin places, to be transformed and inspired by them. For although we do not know what lies ahead, we are fairly sure that life will not be the same.

A Quiet Day at Home- worksheet
a completed worksheet

“The 21 participants, all found the day very helpful, despite their isolation and among the comments sent in after the event were the following:

- “I found the resources really helpful to dip in and out of.”
- “I had a wonderful walk seeing new buds of growth and spectacular blossom and spring flowers. The Celtic traditions work for me in so many ways - the poetry of the language used in so much material. God in Nature speaks in glimpses when you least expect.”
- “I shall now endeavour to be more contemplative and to look for Thin Places every day. And now I know that only by looking will I find them.””

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