The Big Silence

The BBC has confirmed the transmission dates of The Big Silence, a three-part series made by Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC2, much of which was filmed at St Beuno's Retreat Centre in Wales. The Big Silence is a series about five men and women struggling to build silence into their daily lives. They all believed that their lives were too hectic, with insufficient opportunities for exploring deeper questions about their lives and their relationship with God - whatever or whoever they believed God to be. For four months, they were introduced to the practice of daily silence and meditation, staying at Worth Abbey and St Beuno's along the way, under the guidance of Abbot Christopher Jamison OSB.

A 44-page booklet to accompany the series has been published by the British Jesuits to help people step back from their busy lives to experience stillness. Entitled Growing into Silence, it was written by Fr Paul Nicholson SJ and includes chapters by the four spiritual guides who took part in the TV series: Fr Tom McGuinness SJ, Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ, Sr Renate Dullman OP and Ruth Holgate. The forward is written by Abbot Christopher who narrated the series and accompanied the volunteers on their journeys.

"The result is a journey that takes them from the depths of sadness through anger and frustration to the heights of contemplative bliss," writes Fr Nicholson in the introduction to the booklet. "All of them were profoundly changed by the experience. This booklet offers you the chance to follow up their experience in your own life. You can find out about the spiritual exercises that they undertook and consider following them yourself."

The Growing into Silence booklet is available from Way Books at £6 (UK including postage), £7.50 (Europe via Air Mail) and £10 for the rest of the world. It can be ordered through the Growing into Silence web site, from 15 October.

The Big Silence will be broadcast on BBC2 on the three Fridays - October 22 and 29, and November 5.

For information on St Beuno's see:

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