The recently founded monastic spirituality forum visited the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Chiswick on Saturday. The group was composed of one Benedictine, two Augustinians, a Sacred Heart sister, a number of Benedictine oblates from two monastic communities (Minster and Ealing) and other members of they laity.
The tour was led by subdeacon Nicolas Mabin. We began outside the church and considered how the exterior space was used liturgically. It was particularly interesting to hear how the church had been founded and developed on that particular site, which began with a visit and blessing from a miraculous icon. The interior of the Cathedral was incredibly beautiful and subdeacon Nicolas explained each and every detail with meticulous care. The Cathedral has been developed step by step and it was a great privilege to see new frescoes being painted. Unusually the Cathedral has a sunken baptismal font and it encouraged all of us to reflect on the grace of baptism. There was a interest discussion about sacramentals and the place of icons in the Orthodox home and the idea that the family home is as sacred as the church.
The forum has a number of events planned for the rest of 2015. David Torkington, the widely published spiritual theologian, will give a talk on the roots of Christian mysticism, on Saturday 7th November 2015, at Ealing Abbey, If you wish to attend then please register here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-roots-of-christian-mysticism-by-david-torkington-tickets-18805539876
On Saturday, 12th December 2015, Dr Monica Tobon, oblate of Minster Abbey, will talk about Evagrius. Guest speakers in 2016 include Sir Richard Temple, Dom Augustine Wetta OSB and Rabbi Rachel Montagu. Visits include the National Gallery, Tyburn Convent, Worth Abbey and a Greek Orthodox Monastery.
For further details about the forum please see www.communityofnazareth.com/ or follow on Twitter @NazarethW5