Contemplative Fire is a dispersed community of Christ at the edge, inviting us into transformative awareness.

Trustees and Founder

If you wish to be in contact with any of Contemplative Fire’s Trustees, they would be grateful if you could direct your message via the Contemplative Fire main contact email info@contemplativefire.org

The Trustees 2018-2019

Caroline Newton

I have been a Companion for the last five years, and have been a member of the newly formed Hub for the last year, a role which I have hugely enjoyed and valued. Living in Nottinghamshire I am part of a small local contemplation group, and we hope to extend CF activities in the Midlands further over the coming year.

I enjoy working on vision and strategy, and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Shortly after leaving university I set up a small company distributing giftware across the UK, and today I still work as a director within this business. Six years ago whilst visiting Kenya with a fellow Companion, we were drawn to the plight of a small impoverished rural community. On our return we set up a charity, and today 25% of my time is spent developing projects and sourcing funding for the work there.

I am the mother of three children. The youngest, now 18, has Down Syndrome. After his birth I wanted to ensure that his opportunities were maximized, and I retrained as a Speech Therapist. This led to my delivering speech therapy one day a week to over 20 children with DS for ten years up until 2013. Developing this interest I joined the Board of Trustees of a Special Needs Pre School, and was the Chair of this Board for six years before retiring from this role last year.

In the midst of this naturally active personality I have discovered the truth that I need to balance my ‘doings’ with interior silence and space. Contemplative Fire has been a home where I can experience this inward journey alongside like-minded individuals, and where I have found support to take the steps of faith the journey has called for. In standing as a trustee I hope to use these varied skills to support the community as we continue to explore what it means to ‘Travel Light, and Dwell Deep’.

Francoise Pinteaux-Jones

I am the current chair of trustees. I have been a Companion on the Way since 2005. I am divorced and have two grown up daughters and four grandchildren. I taught French in mainstream secondary education for 22 odd years before retraining and free-lancing as a translator. Though very different in their praxis, both professions represent ways to serve, which I see as my calling.

Accordingly I have served diversely on town council, board of governors, Diocesan Committee and sundry organisations. In 2009, I worked three months as a peace observer in Palestine with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine-Israel for which I still advocate.

A practising Catholic in France, I have been an active participant in the Anglican church for over 30 years, joining the Third Order of Saint Francis some 20 years ago. My tertiary vows and Contemplative Fire’s rhythm are the two wings of my Christian living, guiding my commitments and, above all, channelling God’s presence into my everyday engagements. Not a frequent presence in church, I nonetheless strive to honour these words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The church is the church only when it exists for others“.

Hilary Garraway

I became a Christian over thirty years ago and come from an evangelical and charismatic church background. I worked with Youth With A Mission (a Pentecostal missionary organisation) for about ten years, with their Christian counselling training programme in Merseyside and helped to set up this counselling training in Uganda. I then moved to East London to set up a community project providing counselling and life skills training to people facing long term unemployment and homelessness.

Over the last fifteen years I have felt drawn to more contemplative and Celtic Christian traditions. I am grateful to God for leading me to Contemplative Fire at a time when my faith was feeling challenged and this has deepened my faith and expanded my view of God. I have valued journeying with others on a similar path, learnt so much from different writers and Christian traditions, valued the challenge to consider the use of language more and the accountability and rhythm that the trefoil gives to my spiritual walk.

I have a busy life and so am continually seeking to maintain this rhythm of action balanced with contemplation. I work full time as a consultant clinical psychologist in the NHS and am on the steering group for the British Association of Christians in Psychology, am the chair of the National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum and the British Psychological Society’s Spirituality Lead. Contemplative Fire has influenced my spirituality which helped me to develop an holistic approach to therapy. This has become the basis of a course called “Free to be Me” which combines therapy and spirituality along with elements of art therapy and creative writing.

I am married to Hosten who is retired but works voluntarily as a lay reader and “Pastor to the Seniors” in our church. We have two children, Hayley and Joshua, and a labradoodle dog, Sasha, who shares my country walks which are a key part to my spirituality. Hosten is originally from Grenada and we have had a long term vision of setting up a retreat house there. This is now becoming a reality with the recent purchase of a property which we will gradually restore. I completed a spiritual direction course at the Chelmsford diocese retreat house which was the spiritual home of Evelyn Underhill. The way she described the spiritual life has become my prayer for my own spiritual life – “a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the centre, where we are anchored in God.”

Jeremy Timm

My name is Jeremy Timm, and I live with my husband Mike in a tiny village called Saltmarshe, in East Yorkshire. I first engaged with the Christian faith in the setting of a University Christian Union in Leicester. Following Uni I worked for the Diocese of Hong Kong and Macau, with a missionary society, CMS.

When I returned to the UK, having been selected for training for ordination in the Church of England, I went to Durham, took up my place at Cranmer Hall, and trained fully for the Priesthood. At the end of my training, because of an overwhelming sense of responsibility to a family business, where I was the fifth generation of a flour milling family, I returned to Goole and worked with my family there. I studied for a Masters degree in business administration at Bradford University Business School.

My training in Durham was put to use as I served as a reader for many years in the local Church. I am a Spiritual Director, previously on the York Diocesan register. To continue my interest and passion for theology, I studied for a Masters in Theology and Religious Studies at York St John University.

Following a break in Reader ministry, a few years ago I was granted permission to officiate in a team of six churches. Sadly, my PTO was withdrawn when Mike and I decided to get married. At this point I felt that the Church of England was no longer a place of growth for me, and decided to leave. CF has been such an important part of my journey since those difficult times.

I have been a trustee and Chair of a Charity called Changing Attitude for a decade, working for the full inclusion of LGBT people into the life and ministry of the Church of England. We have been working towards a merger with another Charity, working in the same area – this merger is now complete with the formation of OneBodyOneFaith.

 

Helen Fitch-Hunter

I have come to Contemplative Fire from a childhood absorbing the sound and sensations of Epping Forest and the Orwell and Blackwater estuaries, through a Baptist upbringing in a village, continuing through various free churches in my adult life, until someone started a contemplative group within the conservative evangelical church where my then husband was the administrative leader. I became a Companion of CF six years ago after the church hierarchy used its power to damage my family and we left for the overarching shelter of the Church of England temporarily.

I have been delighted to assist CF as a Hub member for the last two years, organising Wisdom on the Way days and helping redesign the website (a continuing process). I am an admin for the website, supporting and encouraging Companions to use it regularly and engage in discussion in the private online forum.

I am a former journalist, then I home educated my children, and I currently work part time as a pharmacy dispensing assistant. I am now considering how to develop my professional career with qualifications. I am divorced, have two grown daughters, and enjoy a discourse with my partner – as well as on Twitter with people of varied religious backgrounds and none – on hints of spiritual experience within life and the arts. As a result of my dispersed family life I drive around a lot, and I would love to meet up with Companions at any time when I am in their part of the country.

Peter Wright

I have been a committed Companion of Contemplative Fire from its earliest days, and have seen it through many phases, venues and its recent development since Philip stood down from its leadership. Most recently, I have been a regular attender with my wife Charlotte at the gatherings at Wendover, Buckinghamshire, as well as joining the Wycombe group for the Woodland Walks and gathering. I have been at every Annual CF Gathering since its foundation. I have become thoroughly familiar with its ways, style and organisation, as well as getting to know a large number of Companions and others attached to CF. My experience of meeting the more northern members has been great and I would like to develop that a lot more.

 

I was asked to become a Trustee some years ago, but declined because of work commitments. Having retired from my 12-year appointment as a Judge in the Family and County Court in June, I am now ready to put myself forward. I would hope my legal background and lifetime career in Civil, Family and Criminal law and its respective Courts would provide an appropriate bank of experience to be a Trustee. I have a background of being brought up in a Church of England family, a Methodist education and organist at a Roman Catholic school for a year in Africa (on VSO). Our involvement in broadly charismatic/evangelical C of E churches led, eventually, to us joining CF when it started. I retain an affection for all the styles I have experienced!

 

I remain a Trustee of Lambeth Palace Library, since 2003.

Jack McBane

I spent my career in urban regeneration helping local people to rebuild their neighbourhood and their lives. My wife Jane and I are  founding members of Contemplative Fire Sheffield with Philip and Gill Roderick.

I chaired the CF Companions Review Group and am currently trying to get CF transferred into a CIO. My considerable years of experience of boards and planning should be a help to the development of CF.

I follow a daily rythm of meditation based on the Ignatian tradition and use a spiritual director who is also from this tradition. I was raised within the formal church structure, moved away from this for some years and it was through a lingering faith and Philip’s establishing Contemplative Fire in Sheffield that brought me to my current spiritual journey.

Revd Philip Roderick

Founder of Contemplative Fire

You can see a video interview with Philip about his spiritual background and the founding of Contemplative Fire here.  Also on the Media page are audio interviews with Companions about the lineage of Contemplative Fire.

The Hub

At the Community Weekend in 2016, Companions supported the setting up of The Hub. Over the past two years, The Hub has organised Wisdom on The Way days, a weekend retreat in February 2018, and other core events. They also set up the Community discussion page on this website. If you are a Companion but cannot access it then please let our administrator Tina Towey know.

The current Hub members are Ann Worrall, Liz Okey, Caroline Newton, Jane Johnston, Sharon Roberts, and Helen Fitch-Hunter. They welcome contributions from all towards sharing knowledge, ideas and experience within Contemplative Fire’s dispersed community – if you do not know any of the Hub members then please contact our administrator.