Sacrista Prebend, Southwell: Quiet days and study days 2017-2018


Saturday 19th May

‘To Be a Pilgrim…’ 

Revd Annabel Barber

Organised in conjunction with the Creative Arts Retreat Movement

For centuries Southwell Minster has been a centre visited by pilgrims. This day will be a chance to creatively reflect on our own journeying through life, perhaps using as a starting point aspects of the Minster building, or Bunyan’s great hymn. Bring supplies (threads, needles, fabric etc) to work by hand or using a sewing machine. More details are available from: or 01522 721306

The Revd. Annabel Barber is Rector of Waddington, just outside Lincoln. She began to weave together her passions for textile art and visual communication while training in spiritual accompaniment at St Bede’s pastoral centre in York. Since then she has exhibited her spiritually-themed quilts in several churches as well as at the Sacred Threads exhibition in the USA. It is the spiritual aspects of working with cloth and thread that sustain her in her busy ministry.


Saturday 2nd June

Creation Pathways Towards God

Robin Old and Kay Old

‘If you want to know the Creator understand created things’ advised Columbanus in the 6th Century AD. This quiet day is designed to encourage us to focus on the many Biblical passages about the created things, and to strengthen our prayer life. The Bible starts in a garden and ends in a garden city, and with its guidance we will tread ancient and modern pathways as we seek a God who speaks to us through his creation.

In the afternoon we will either have a short, guided prayer-walk around the nearby Potwell Dyke Grasslands, or spend time alone in the peaceful and beautiful Sacrista Gardens. Strong footwear and appropriate outdoor clothing are advisable for either afternoon session.

Robin Old is a retired Baptist Minister. Kay Old has had training in Spiritual Direction.
Both have led retreats and quiet days, and they are members of the working group dedicated to conserving the Potwell Dyke Grasslands in Southwell.


Saturday 16th June

 “Discipline, Artistry and a little Foolishness” led by Revd Andrew Walker

On this quiet day, we will explore different aspects of the spiritual life.

Andrew Walker is director of the London based Ignatian spirituality programme and Vicar of St Mary Bourne Street.  Additionally he is a psychosynthesis supervisor, and a volunteer gardener at Great Dixter in East Sussex.


Saturday 23rd June

Water, Wells and Waterpots:

A day with the Woman at the Well of Samaria, led by Sylvia Griffiths

The gospels are full of stories where Jesus does the impossible and the extraordinary in the lives of individuals who came face to face with him.

On this Quiet Day we will explore one such encounter – the Woman at the Well of Samaria, as she heard the words of Jesus, ‘If only you knew the gift and the giver!’

Our reflections will focus around the wells that make up our lives, the water of life that Jesus offers and the call to a new and  deeper relationship to the God who longs to give freely and lovingly to each of us.

The Revd Canon Sylvia Griffiths has spent over 30 years in parish ministry. She is chair of the Diocesan Prayer and Spirituality Committee and leads both courses on prayer and the training of Spiritual Directors for the Diocese.


Saturday 14th July

Creative prayer – a Quiet Day with Sally Smith

Use your creativity to encounter God. You will be led in a series of exercises to enable you to meet with God through making as well as having time to explore on your own. No artistic ability is required, just a desire to be with Creator God and to use the creative gifts he has given you (however small they may be).

Sally Smith is commissioning editor for the Bible Reading Fellowship publication, Quiet Spaces.  She is experienced in leading quiet days, and enjoys creating spaces for prayer.  She is a spiritual director in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.


Tuesday 18th September

An Autumn Creative Quiet Day: Weave or Stitch a Prayer, led by Karen Herrick, Harlequin Arts

Please note: all materials are provided.  The cost of the day is £30.

Psalm 91 tells us that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Come and spend some time resting and creatively exploring our natural dwelling place with God.  Using a series of textile art pieces, we will consider different ways of looking at how, as Christians, we might “dwell”. This will include exploring “Seven Sacred Spaces” that may strengthen and help us to nurture a balanced lifestyle, providing a rhythm to our Christian lives.

Then, using an array of fabrics, threads & stitch, there will be opportunity to either stitch or weave, reflecting prayerfully on what we have heard. You will be encouraged to draw closer to God as you use colours & textures to pray.

Karen Herrick is a freelance textile artist, who enjoys inspiring others to be creative. She works in arts, health and spirituality, and believes that creativity enhances our wellbeing.


Saturday 20th October: A study day led by Alison Milbank

Faith in Detection

Why are there so many detective dramas on television? What deeper mysteries does this genre seek to explore? We shall spend a day pondering these questions, which open up theological mysteries of the nature of evil, judgement, forgiveness and the ordering of the cosmos. Beginning with the Bible, including the Book of Job and the detective work of Daniel, our journey will take us through Wilkie Collins The Moonstone and Sherlock Holmes stories to Dorothy Sayers, Simenon and right up to recent dramas such as Broadchurch.

The Revd. Canon Alison Milbank is Associate Professor of Literature and Theology in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Nottingham University, and Canon Theologian at Southwell Minster.


Saturday 3rd November

Take my hand:  gift, weakness and vulnerability, led by Marian Crawford

People with a learning disability have the habit of turning our understandings upside down.   We will spend this day reflecting on how the work of Jean Vanier, through L’Arche, and Faith and Light, has challenged perceptions.

The Revd. Marian Crawford is a retired Methodist minister, married with 3 lovely daughters. Clare, our middle daughter, has Downs Syndrome and she has led me on an amazing journey of discovery in our family life, in my ministry and in my understanding of God.

Saturday 10th November

From Russia With Love, led by Jim Wellington

Jim explores how aspects of Russian Orthodox spirituality can enhance our approach to God in our contemporary situation.  He examines how the witness of three relatively modern saints, St Theophan the Recluse, St Seraphim of Sarov and St Maria of Paris point us towards a unity, wholeness and connectedness, summed up by the Russian word sobornost.

The Rev’d Jim Wellington is a retired priest with permission to officiate in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.  He is the author of two books, Christe Eleison! The Invocation of Christ in Eastern Monastic Psalmody c.350-450 (Peter Lang, 2014), and Praying the Psalms with Jesus: A Journey of Discovery and Recognition (Grove Books, 2015).


Tuesday 4th December

An Advent Quiet Day, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus:                                                       four meditative talks with periods of silence for personal reflection and prayer, led by Graham Pigott

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, offers us a model for being Christian as we wait for Christ’s final Advent.  She knew bewildering and faith-stretching experiences of wonder, gift, travail, joy, anguish, and awesome surprise, as she lived through realities she never chose, yet were earthed in how God desired to reveal his purposes. The day will be spent prayerfully exploring some of these,to help us in our living.

The Revd. Canon Graham Pigott is a retired Anglican priest who leads quiet days and retreats, and accompanies others on their spiritual journeying.