Contemplative Fire is a dispersed community of Christ at the edge, and an invitation to a radical transformation of consciousness.

Visual inspirations and resources

The Gathering

The community extends a warm welcome to anyone who would like to share in contemplative worship and discover more about the reflective dimension of Christian faith. There are regular Gatherings following the ancient patterning of the Eucharist that seeks to re-imagine in language and symbol the Christian story, celebrating the festivals and creativity, giving opportunity to experience contemplative prayer and conviviality through shared stillness, and song and so build community.

We gather in ancient churches

In old barns

Bubbles of prayer at the end of one Gathering

The Table of Friendship at Harvest: bread baked by the community; Fair Trade wine poured out, fruits to share

And school halls

Advent Gathering – Make straight the way of the Lord

Table of Friendship: The simplicity of Lent

 

Pilgrimage to Now/here

This regular event at Longshaw near Sheffield provides an opportunity to recover the ancient understanding of pilgrimage by discovering the holy in the every day without the need to journey to a holy site as an end point.

The Companions on the Way and partipants often gather round the fire in The Lodge at the start of The Pilgrimage to Now/here.

We re-discover how to walk slowly

to be attentive to what is ‘here’ and ‘now’, treading lightly on the earth

Celebrating creativity

© Charlotte Wright – paintings inspired by photojournalism

‘Oh that my words were written down … O that they were inscribed’ (Job 19: 23) An opportunity for people to inscribe their own words to God in clay.

Using gifts of creation – such as flowers and water – to explore the theme of the day

Contemplative use of the camera – providing images of transfiguring light

Creativity expressed through music –

ranging from African drum to simple chants often inspired by a short Biblical text.

Revd Philip Roderick playing the Hang drum

Retreats: Creating a Community of Christ at the Edge

There is an annual opportunity for Retreat, to gather Companions on the Way in a place of beauty and deep stillness that enables a deeper exploration of what it might mean to be an expression of a community of Christ at the Edge.

The Retreat is patterned around

  • times of prayer in shared stillness
  • inspiration from the Christian mystical tradition
  • reflective walks
  • a Contemplative Fire-style Holy Communion

As a community we have a strong commitment to learning through all our senses. Many have discovered what life-changing truths can be revealed through prayerful attentiveness to the body’s movement through time and space. Each day we would pray using a body prayer. These are sacred postures that are another way of praying without words but offer, for example, profound opportunities to express the Lord’s prayer or a season of the church’s year.

During one of the retreats, the trefoil – the symbol of our rhythm of life – was drawn on the beach. Each Companion had the opportunity to walk it out. This was a powerful experience for many – to walk the edges, to stand in the spaces, and to cross the thresholds. As we silently shared in the experience so community continued to be created.

On a previous retreat a labyrinth was created on the beach. Each person had time to slowly walk through this, being open to the insights such attentive walking could offer about our journey into God.

The Sevenfold Labyrinth

The Trefoil

Travelling Light, Dwelling Deep through a shared three-fold rhythm of life is symbolised by the celtic trefoil, lived as prayer, study, action – a continuous exploration of being, knowing, and doing.

A tulip reveals a natural portrayal of the trefoil

Living the Mystery: the Way of Christ the contemplative

This was a previous experiential course learning in depth about the Christian Mystical Tradition – focusing on

  • One Seeing
  • One Knowing
  • One Loving

Creating a community of Christ at the edge enables creative opportunities to emerge in the development of liturgy, equipping for service and resources for the journey.

It is from this edge place that creative thinking and practice is emerging. One of the forms that it is taking is in the Beacon Series of publications exploring the Christian contemplative tradition and its relevance to the three fold rhythm of life. The first in the series is an exploration of ‘Stillness’. These 12 page booklets with a delightful interweaving of theology, prayer, and practice are available from the office for £3.50 incl p&p. Please contact the office.

All photographs remain the copyright of Contemplative Camera. Used with permission.

If you would like further information about the work of Contemplative Camera© please contact Revd Susan Blagden susan@contemplativefire.org 

For Charlotte Wright, please contact: charlottewright@hotmail.co.uk