Christian Meditation in Churches
WCCM - It is the ecumenical communities “calling” to share, nurture and support Christian Meditation, as rediscovered by, Benedictine Monk, Fr. John Main, his first group being in 1975. It is continued by the current Director of WCCM, Benedictine Monk, Fr. Laurence Freeman. The peaceful practice of Christian Meditation is also known as “Contemplative Prayer” or “Prayer of The Heart”.
The community serves all in Great Britain, Ireland and internationally, with an outreach in the spirit of unity as a “Monastery Without Walls”. It is part of the World Benedictine Monastic Family. There are now over 120 countries and 358 locations in Great Britain and Ireland where Christian Meditation groups have been established, meeting on either a regular basis to encourage, support the peaceful contemplative practice and nurture communities of unity, borne out of these “Sacred Spaces” of silence and stillness.
The WCCM has outreaches of sharing Christian Meditation with children in schools, young meditators, clergy, mental health, prisons, marginalised, aged and dying. There are also online meditation groups.
A WCCM Benedictine Oblate Community grows within the larger community of meditators in Great Britain, Ireland and internationally. It is part of the World Congress Benedictine Oblates, which in its October 2017 gathering included the offering, sharing of the practice of WCCM Christian Meditation. There is also a WCCM Christian Meditation presence within Abbey’s, Monasteries and Retreat Centres throughout, Great Britain and Ireland.
Contemplative dialogue with other faiths is a priority, with an international and UK interfaith outreach dating back to 1994. The Meditatio Centre, in London is part of this interfaith outreach, as is the current renovation, building project of Bonnevaux, in France the WCCM community’s future International ecumenical contemplative retreat centre.
The community also presents introductions to meditation, developed by its School of Meditation, “Quiet Days”, retreat weekends, seminars and conferences throughout the UK, throughout the year where people, from differing ages, backgrounds, denominations and from none, come together in unity locally and nationally exploring, sharing in this peaceful Christian meditative/contemplative practice “Prayer of The Heart”.
In the UK some groups have their presence within Churches, or church community halls etc., of which some are within a Churches Together group Locally or/and Regionally.
A few of the clergy, who regularly attended the WCCM Christian Meditation gathering I lead, in our church, greatly encouraged my outreach, firstly, within our own town, Bury, via CT in Bury, then beyond. I expressed the ecumenical unity, I have been experiencing, to Fr. Laurence Freemen who then commissioned me to explore the possibility of our ecumenical contemplative Community sharing in, working with the ecumenical community of Churches Together in England.
As I shared something of our Christian contemplative community with numerous County Ecumenical Officers (CEO’S)/representatives, as I have just done with you, their comments of appreciation, along the lines of “something obviously Christian,” and “something that will help to alleviate the stress in our times,” has initiated a continued sharing, networking with them and further encouraged me to continue sharing of our WCCM community and its outreaches.
The process of this further ecumenically sharing, networking has been with me, firstly, supplying details of the WCCM Christian Meditation groups and WCCM Regional Coordinator, secondly, sharing news of events, open to all, being presented within the CEO’s/representatives respective counties/regions. This network of ecumenical sharing, working together at the regional level with CEO’s of CT in England covers the North West, East and West Midlands, so far. Throughout Great Britain and Ireland there are those engaged with CT in England at a local level.
For further information on our outreach with Churches Together in the region contact
David Mckenna WCCM UK Oblate Coordinator