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Newmarket couple write of most enriching experience

In the Year of the Family, Newmarket parishioner couple, Juliet and Richard Burnford, write about the most enriching experience of their life together – the Cana Week.

Cana Week was the most enriching experience of our marriage.  We attended in 2017 and learned to listen to one another more attentively and to seek God’s purpose in the challenges of our life together as parents and grandparents.  We are not experts by any means, but we do have hope and joy on the journey! 

When we set out for Sclerder Abbey, we had some apprehension but the beauty of the setting, the warmth of the welcome, the prayerful serenity of the Abbey all served to create a calm that freed us to focus on our life as a couple. 

We had excellent teaching and ample time to reflect and to talk.  And there was laughter and new friends to be made, especially at meal times!  It was such a blessing for us that we have been back as volunteers twice and plan to serve again this year.  Our only regret is that we didn’t discover Cana sooner – it was wonderful to see couples much younger than us, many with their children, welcome the experience with joy.

Cana is a mission of the Chemin Neuf Community, founded in 1973 and stemming from the Charismatic Renewal and Ignatian spirituality.  It was launched in 1980 and now serves couples and families in over 50 countries.  In the UK it has been active since 1993. 

Since 2019, Cana (UK) has been led by Paul and Una Mannu, parishioners at OLEM in Cambridge, and they are full steam ahead for Cana Week this year, from July 25-31, at Sclerder Abbey in Cornwall. 

Full details can be found on the Chemin Neuf website:, and testimonies from couples who have attended Cana Week in the past can be viewed here:

Pictured above are Cana Week volunteers, Juliet and Richard Burnford from Newmarket.