As an Interfaith Minister, I organise three regular events. Common to all three is an emphasis on affordability (they are on run on a cost-only basis) and flexibility of belief (we do not need to subscribe to the same belief system). I also have an unwritten rule that there is no preaching, teaching or excessive piety. What I am hoping to achieve by giving like-minded people an opportunity to spend time together is an experience of spirituality with a small ‘s’ and community with a small ‘c’.
With the help of others, I hold a monthly Universal Worship evening in Frome where all are welcome to come and find their connection with Oneness and Truth through simple devotional singing, prayer, readings, stories, poems and silent reflection. In taking part, we bring the blessing of our presence and, in turn, we are blessed by the occasion.
Many people no longer feel comfortable or connected to existing established faiths. But they still yearn for something which gives them a sense of belonging and reminds them that there is a mystery to life which we may or may not call God. Worship re-connects us to that mystery and when it does, it enriches our lives and strengthens who we are.
I have yet to find a better term than Universal Worship to describe this kind of relaxed, inclusive worship where it does not matter whether we all think the same way. My hope is that the evenings provide a safe, gentle space in which to join with like-minded people and celebrate both our humanity and the mystery of which we are part.
Each evening has a different theme but follows the same format lasting just under one hour. The material to illustrate the theme is chosen from all spiritual traditions.
The evenings take place at 7.45pm on the third Tuesday in the month at 26 Somerset Road in Frome. Afterwards, everyone is invited to stay for a hot drink.
Silent Retreat Days
The silent retreat days happen at the Somerset Earth Science Centre every other month on a Sunday from 10am to 4pm. This is an opportunity to take a step back from our daily routines and enjoy a few hours of silence in the company of like-minded people without the usual distractions of home and work. The Centre looks over a small lake and woods and you may get to see a heron, kingfisher or even an otter. Lunch is provided. The remaining two dates in 2019 are 15 September and 10 November.
These take place at Bala Brook on the edge of Dartmoor. In a beautiful place with good food and kind cooperation, we create a safe, warm and welcoming space in which to spend time together drawing on the skills and resource we all bring to the week-end. There is structured activity (with the option of opting in or out), free time and the opportunity to take part in a co-created ceremony celebrating the time of year. But this is neither a workshop nor a retreat! The next one is 15-17 November. Dates for 2020 are 5-7 June and 16-18 October.