Religious communities plan events in response to The Monastery'

 Since the BBC 2 series 'The Monastery' started last week, religious communities around the UK have reported an increase in enquiries from people wishing to visit them. In response, Worth Abbey in West Sussex, where the series was filmed, is planning to hold three residential weekends, which will include sessions on prayer and using personal time creatively. The theme of the weekends are Finding Sanctuary (24 - 26 June) and Finding Faith (17- 19 June and 15 - 17 July). The programmes will be framed around the pattern of monastic prayer times and will also allow for free time in and around the Abbey grounds. Fr Christopher Jamison, Abbot of Worth said: "More and more people are looking for space in often very busy lives. We believe we can provide this much-needed sanctuary and once people prepare to return home, we will aim to have equipped them with a life giving framework based on the monastic tradition of work, prayer and rest. It's a remarkable rhythm and you don't have to be a monk or nun necessarily to reap the benefits." A community of Franciscan Friars in Pantasaph, North Wales, are planning similar events for people to explore their direction and purpose in life, with a programme of meditation, talks, social time and nature walks. This year's events include: a Catholic Experience Weekend (June 3- 5, January 27- 29 January 2006), Exploring Christian Faith (16th October). Franciscan Friar, Brother Loarne, said: "Taking time out, whether you are a Christian or not, is very important if you are to maintain good health. We are very much looking forward to welcoming people here and believe they will return home with a clearer sense of purpose and a renewed 'joie de vivre'." Both Worth Abbey and the Franciscan Friary are working in partnership with the Catholic Enquiry Office to promote these events. The Enquiry Office provides a national service to non-Catholic enquirers wishing to ask questions about Catholic life and beliefs. For more information contact the Catholic Enquiry Office on tel. 0208 458 3316, 114 West Heath Road, Hampstead, London. NW3 7TX or see: To visit the Worth Abbey site click on: (Many other communities are listed in our Links pages). Source: CASE

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