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St Edmund’s ignites passion for ancient prayer practice

St Edmund’s in Bury St Edmunds has hosted an engaging introductory workshop on Centering Prayer, leaving attendees inspired to incorporate this ancient form of prayer into their daily lives. Filip Zielinski reports.

A successful and well-supported introductory workshop to Centering Prayer was hosted by St Edmund’s on Saturday May 27. It was offered to parishioners and others through Churches Together.

The day was run by two experienced practitioners from the contemplative movement, Contemplative Outreach. This is an organisation with its roots stemming back to the Catholic Trappist monk, Fr Tom Keating, who spent much of his ministry reinvigorating this ancient form of prayer, teaching it to others and enabling them to do the same.

It was a very engaging and informative day enjoyed by everyone, with many leaving inspired to begin this practice as part of their prayer life. Participants were introduced to the method of Centering Prayer, its conceptual background, and also had two opportunities to experience the prayer. Topics included Prayer as a Relationship and Deepening our Relationship with God.

It was explained that Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer; rather, it casts a new light and depth of meaning on them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.

The carefully crafted blend of presentations, prayer practice, and opportunity for questions and discussion proved a successful recipe as an introduction to this form of prayer. The parish will be offering a further six short follow-up sessions.