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Friday, October 21, 2016
New Carmelite community starting in Canterbury
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Canterbury Cathedral
A new Carmelite Spirituality Group is being formed in Canterbury. The group is being set up by members of the Margate Third Order Chapter and will be open to lay people, religious and clergy interested in exploring the Carmelite spiritual tradition in a friendly and engaging way.

Carmelite Spirituality Groups have developed in recent years as a fresh expression of the Carmelite way of life, attracting large numbers of people interested in Carmel in cities such as York, London and Leeds. A new Carmelite Spirituality Group is also due to start meeting in Manchester in early 2011, and the Carmelite Family rejoices in this time of expansion and growth.

Canterbury is an ancient city in the county of Kent in southeast England. It is most famous as an ecclesiastical centre. After the conversion to Christianity of the Kingdom of Kent in 597, Saint Augustine established an episcopal See in the city and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, a position that now heads the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Saint Thomas Becket was martyred in the Cathedral (pictured above) in 1170, and Canterbury became a major site of pilgrimage, which inspired Geoffrey Chaucer's literary classic The Canterbury Tales. Pope John Paul II visited Canterbury Cathedral in 1982. The city remains full of historical sites (though the area known as Whitefriars refers not to the Carmelites but to the Augustinians).

Writing about the new community in the forthcoming November edition of Assumpta magazine, the Provincial Delegate to the Third Order, Mr John Berry, said: "On 12 February 2011 a new Carmelite Spirituality Group will open in Canterbury. The group will be supported by the nearby Margate Third Order Community and will be convened by one of its members, Suzanne Phillips, who will be supported by me and others from across the South of the country. The group will meet right in the heart of the city; the management team of one of the local community projects, Age Concern, have very generously offered the Lay Carmelites the use of their building and facilities as a venue for the meetings. The new CSG will begin by offering a series of monthly talks introducting key themes of Carmelite life, with invited speakers from across the Carmelite Family, of both the Ancient and Discalced Observances."

The basic format of the meetings will include liturgical prayer (Eucharist or Morning Prayer), formation in the Carmelite tradition (with input from a speaker and group discussion), Lectio Divina meditation on the Bible, and shared social time.

The full programme of events for the rest of 2011 will be posted at the start of the year, and advertised  across the Carmelite Family and in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Further information about the group can be found on its community webpage on:, and by contacting the convenor, Suzanne Phillips: Tel. 01843 295217

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Tags: Canterbury, Carmelite Spirituality Group, Margate Third Order Chapter

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