Meditation and Mindfulness

Reasons for being in our community church together for 30 minutes without words

It may at first seem like an odd thing to traipse down to the church every Tuesday evening to sit with others in silence for thirty minutes, and then go home again; but there are reasons for this!

All spiritual practices have periods of quiet structured into their timetables, whether they are called meditation, prayer, reflection, mindfulness, or remembrance. In our fast and busy modern age we seem to have lost the wisdom and benefit of such ancient traditions. They give you, the participator, an opportunity to relax and ‘be’ in the present moment rather than ‘do’; step aside from immediate preoccupations and worries; listen to your thoughts and feelings, and reflect. This may later help in decisions you might make, or change a particular situation you face.

These practices give you the opportunity to rest awhile in awareness and refocus. Many recent scientific studies on individuals practising meditation have been shown to generate benefits for the individuals concerned and greater empathy and compassion towards ourselves and those around us, and so contributing towards our personal and wider community resilience.

It is not our intention or expertise to favour or teach any one of these practices, but merely to offer the opportunity to practise them once a week in our quiet and peaceful village church. 

We are so fortunate in our in our community to have a beautiful old village church which lends itself to this kind of quiet attention, the site of which has supported such experience from others in our community (and for some our ancestors!) for at least a thousand years! We are also fortunate to have a forward looking church community that supports the use of the building for such wider secular use today.

Other benefits of meeting others from our community regularly without words can enhance our feelings of connectedness to others within our community and comfort to those in need, without any need for explanation.

So come along, and let’s sit with ourselves together for thirty minutes without words on a Tuesday evening and see where it takes you!

2023 Review

The meditation sessions continue to go well in the church, with the number of people attending, slowly and consistently increasing during the year. We have managed to keep the group running each week with the helpful back up of Nick Benefield and Alex Radley when I have been unable to attend, (although the next 2 Tuesdays will be exceptions due to the school carol concert and Christmas). We have 11 people that attend reasonably regularly with an average number of 6 attending each week for the past year.

The Helpful Knitters group very kindly knitted us 7 colourful hand warmers for the cool evenings in the church, which have been very much appreciated, although so far this year the church has been kept reasonably warm for our Tuesday sessions.

The Social Prescribers based at the Village Surgery are supportive of the sessions and Nick Benefield and I have met them to network with and discuss other possible ideas supporting community resilience. We have another meeting planned in the New Year

I feel inspired and happy to continue with the sessions for another year, particularly since experiencing a Mindfulness retreat for a week during the summer and witnessing the benefits of regular mindfulness meditation practice.

Looking forward
It may be possible at some stage to compliment the church sessions with recorded guided meditation sessions, or mindfulness walking sessions, but more volunteer cover would be required for times when I wouldn’t be available.

I would like to thank Nick Benefield and Alex Radley for always being willing to take the sessions if available in my absence; Alex Roberts for advertising the sessions on social media each week; the Parochial Church Council for continuing to support the sessions, and all the people who have come to the weekly sessions, hopefully making it possible to continue for another year.