Contemplative practice

18:30 - 20:00
Sep 10th 2024

Join us to share contemplative silence in community. An in-person monthly event at St Ethelburga’s. We warmly invite people of all faiths and none. A chance to be refreshed by the restorative power of shared silence, community, and our peace garden.

For more information contact us.
optional donation ticket

Optional donation - very gratefully received!


free ticket

Join us to share contemplative silence for the sake of our world. Those of all faiths and none are warmly welcome. There’s no need to have a prayer or meditation practice, or a spiritual belief of any kind. Whatever your preferred mode of contemplative practice, you are welcome to bring it to this gathering. 

Contemplation is a universal practice that can be found in faith and secular traditions from around the world. Some call it prayer, others meditation, and still others would call it simply silent reflection. For us, sharing silence in community has always played a vital role in our work.

We live in a time of gathering storms, what some now call the age of polycrisis. Many of us are struggling to bear the overwhelm of personal and collective crisis. At St Ethelburga’s we’ve seen that groups who share silence and community create a powerful antidote to numbing, distraction and despair. They create a circle of compassion that gives shelter to fragile hopes, kindness to traumatised spirits, and the courage to live from a place that’s rooted in our deepest values.

The format:

The event will include:

  1. A brief introduction, and a short reading drawn from different faith/ secular sources. 
  2. An offering of shared prayer. Participants are  invited to name parts of the world or people they wish to offer prayer / compassion for. There is no obligation to speak. 
  3. 30 minutes of silent contemplation. Participants are welcome to use any prayer or meditation practice they use in their own tradition. For any who are new to contemplative practice, the facilitator will offer a practice you could use to start with. 
  4. A chance for participants to share to the group any reflections that arose in the silence. This won’t be a long session but will allow for those who wish to offer some thoughts.
  5. Refreshments and a chance to connect informally – if it’s good weather, to soak up the beauty of our peace garden. 


A free event, donations warmly welcomed

This event is offered without charge, although donations to cover the basic costs of refreshment and caretaking would be most gratefully received. Please register if you’d like to come so we have an idea about numbers. We look forward to seeing you there. 

This is a regular event, offered every second Tuesday of the month from 6.30 – 8.00 pm



Hosted by Clare Martin

Clare is Co-Director of St Ethelburga’s. Previously Development Director, Clare created and led on the Radical Resilience programme and went on to be the strategic lead on our viewpoint diversity work, before stepping up to co-lead the centre alongside Tarot Couzyn. She brings more than 20 years’ experience facilitating groups for the sake of inner enquiry and outer change, and is interested in how contemplative practices can play a role in cultural repair. She has has worked on numerous interfaith projects, most notably for Nisa Nashim, the Jewish Muslim Women’s Network. Prior to this, Clare worked as a communications consultant in the corporate and charitable sector. Currently she runs a community garden on her Hackney housing estate, where she lives with her husband and 9-year old daughter. Raised a Christian, Clare has also studied Buddhism and Sufism.

You can read her thoughts on the role of visionary imagination in resilience building here, and here is a short piece about contemplation as an antidote to conflict.


Chen Lu

Chen has a background in art history and the creative industries. She supports the Faith & Moral Courage project, Contemplative Practice event series, and various creative endeavours at St Ethelburga’s. Along with her regular meditation practice, Chen enjoys exploring different contemplative practices and experiences.
When she is not on her yoga mat, she can usually be found in the kitchen, experimenting with culinary art and completely immersed in the mesmerising sound of Sanskrit.