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Lent 2024

LCSB Lent programme

‘Lift your hands to God in prayer’

Thursdays in Lent on Zoom

22nd,29th (Feb) ; 7th,14th,21st (Mar)

7:30pm in St Benedict's

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“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.”      Lamentations 2:19

We are broken people in a broken world, but we are also a people of hope. This Lent we are asking:

  • In what ways can we pray?

  • How can we embrace others in our prayer?

  • How can we stand with the broken in our world?

  • And we will explore the responses each of us might have to these questions.


Lent programme

In our Sunday evening services we will hold out our arms in prayer for what is broken in our world today.  We also plan to have a special prayer on the theme during Lent at Morning Prayer and Vespers.


On Thursday evening sessions in Lent, beginning on February 22nd, we invite you to explore four different ways to pray.

  • 22nd and 29th February: Centering prayer, Dr Lynne Scholefield

  • 7th March Creative Prayer, Emily Hollins/Helen Healy

  • 14th March Praying with Art Richard Watts

  • 21st March Praying in solidarity, Peter Stott


Dr. Lynne Scholefield is a retired University Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies and author of "Engaging with Living Religion" and "Women's Voices" - Jewish-Christian Dialogue. She has led a number of tours to Jerusalem and Galilee and is Secretary of the Epsom & Ewell Inter-Faith Forum. She is trained in delivering introductions to Centering Prayer by Contemplative Outreach. 


Book for Lent – proposal

The Contemplative Heart by James Finley

Link to Abe Books

“As a meditator and teacher for over 30 years I found this book to be the best I've ever read on the subject of contemplation.” Amazon review

Centering Prayer - recommended resources


Thomas Keating, 2019, Open Mind, Open Heart, Bloomsbury

Thomas has published a lot of books - the titles generally give a good idea of the topics covered


Cynthia Bourgeault, 2016, The Heart of Centering Prayer, Shambala

Cynthia worked very closely with Thomas Keating, and this is a very good introduction to a range of topics.  The three parts are called ‘A Short Course on Centering Prayer’, ’The Way of the Heart’ and ’The Cloud of Unknowing revisited’


Ira Progoff, 1957, The Cloud of Unknowing - Introductory Commentary and Translation, Delta

The Cloud of Unknowing is a classic 14th Century English guide to prayer

and Centering Prayer is based on its approach.  


Chapter VI says,

 ‘He (God) may be well loved, but he may not be thought of.  He may be reached and held close by means of love, but by means of thought never.’  

Chapter VII says, ‘..whenever you feel yourself drawn to devote yourself to this work, and whenever you feel by grace that you have been called by God to do it, lift up your heart toward God with a meek stirring of love. And understand by God the God who made you and formed you and who has graciously called you to your present degree; and do not accept in your mind any other conception of God.  And not even this is necessary , but only if you are so inclined; for a naked intent direct to God is sufficient without anything else.'

The book recommends the use of a ’sacred word’ to be used when thoughts get in the way.


The organisation supporting the on-going work of Centering Prayer is called Contemplative Outreach

This is a link to an introductory talk to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating 

Centering Prayer groups meet in a number of places in the UK. 

Hiking Trail

As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love. 

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