a centre for the spiritual life :  a movement of spiritual practice   :   re-imagining what it means to be human, shaping a better world  :  curating a mix of conversation and ideas, resources & practices, events & accompanying      :   exploring the wisdom, practices and spirituality of the ancient Jesus tradition   :   a project begun in 2013 by Ian Adams and Gail Adams, based in the the South West of the UK and Cambridge – and taking shape wherever you are…

Ian Adams is a poet, writer and photographer working with themes of spirituality, culture and human-being within the natural world. Ian’s first complete collection of poems Unfurling is out now. He is also the author of Breathing DeepSome Small HeavenWilderness Taunts,  Running Over Rocks and Cave Refectory Road, the creator of the daily Morning Bell, Chaplain at Ridley Hall Cambridge, and Spirituality Adviser for CMS

Gail Adams is a spiritual mentor and life-coach working with insights from thinkers and practitioners in human possibility and becoming. She is Chaplain at Ridley Hall Cambridge. Gail is passionate about the nurture of daily patterns of stillness, presence and self-awareness – and says ‘I love it when my clients rediscover their peace, joy and fulfilment…’

Sources of Beloved Life

In Beloved Life we are seeking wisdom and practices in daily life for personal transformation, reshaping of community and renewal of the earth.

We are looking to learn from the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ, source of wisdom and companion for the journey that we are making.

We are looking to learn from the earth and its creatures, letting their quiet wisdom guide us.

We are looking to learn from all the saints and the mystics, the dreamers and the activists, the poets and the artists, the dancers and the musicians, the makers and the explorers in every area of human activity who have walked this path before us.

We hope that you will find here some of the resources that you may need for your own journey of human becoming.

‘Acquire inner peace, and thousands around you will find their salvation…’                        St Seraphim of Sarov

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  1. Anne East Posted on April 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you Beloved Life (Gail and Ian) for all that you are and for all that you do. Anne x

  2. Richard Rohr Posted on September 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Dear Ian,
    Thank you for the lovely book of poetry, UNFURLING! I definitely enjoy the few I have
    already read. How kind of you to care for one person, and it seems the whole world too.

    Know that you and Gail are most welcome to visit if you are ever in New Mexico.

    Every continued blessing!

    1. Ian Adams Posted on September 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Greetings Fr Richard.

      Thank you so much for your kind email re the poems in ‘Unfurling’. So pleased that you are enjoying them!

      Thank you too for your kind invitation to visit – we’d love to take you up on that one day. Trust that all is well with you.

      Grace and peace
      Ian & Gail

  3. matt canlis Posted on December 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Ian, we met this summer in Edinburgh where I was helping as chaplain to the Abbey Summer School. You and I spoke briefly at P&G church Sunday morning. This summer 23-25 July 2015 we have Prof Jeremy Begbie speaking on Trinity, church, and the arts. Do you know him – and would you be interested in coming? If so, would you like to lead one of the break-out sessions?

    I don’t have your email address – I hope this reaches you!

    God’s grace, peace and creativity be yours


    1. Ian Adams Posted on January 7, 2015 at 7:00 am

      so sorry this got lost in our spam Box Matt – you have replies from me now 🙂

  4. Elsie Haith Posted on March 2, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Hello Ian and Gail,

    I am interested in the week “Unfurling” at Scargill house on April 20th – 24th but would like a little more information. What is “body prayer” and what is “earth art” and does it involve much physical activity?

    In anticipation

    1. Ian Adams Posted on March 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      hi Elsie, thanks for your question. Body prayer involves a series of simple physical gestures/stances that we put together with words for prayer – the idea being that prayer becomes part of us bodily, not just words in our head on or on our lips (as helpful as words are). Earth art is the opportunity to create a simple art work outside with natural materials that are on the ground – like leaves, sticks, pebbles. Check out the sort of thing that Andy Goldsworthy does – gives you an idea of the sources of inspiration we are drawing from. Everything we do on the retreat is of course optional 🙂 Peace to you, and perhaps we’ll see you at Scargill! Ian & Gail

  5. Linda Kerswill Posted on June 27, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Please add me to the email postings
    Thank you

    1. Ian Adams Posted on June 28, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      that’s done Linda 🙂 peace to you

  6. Sue Gay Posted on March 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Dear Ian,
    The content of your Lent Morning Bell has been inspirational, deep searching and revealing, and will continue to challenge me, but I have had extreme difficulty in reading the blue text to the degree that feel I may well have to discontinue Morning Bell for that fact alone – the stress and demands of deciphering it have been part of my daily discipline in Lent, but are not sustainable. Is it possible to make the text more visible without detracting from the images?
    Thank you for the Lenten journey you have led me on.

    1. Ian Adams Posted on March 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Sue. Many thanks for this. Great to hear that you found the series inspiring. I felt that any potential difficulty of seeing the text some days might be – as you discovered – part of the Lenten experience, encouraging us to take our time with it each day. But in the new season I’m going to experiment with putting the text at the side of the image as well as on it – so it should be very clear! I hope that will help – and thanks for journeying with us 🙂
      Grace and peace to you

  7. Marc Palmer Posted on July 4, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Dear Ian, I came to your poetry evening in Norfolk last week and was so uplifted. Your books ‘running over rocks’ and now ‘unfurling’ are companions now. Thank you for sharing and enthusing us. Sincerely, Marc

    1. Ian Adams Posted on July 4, 2016 at 11:00 am

      hi Marc, that’s great to hear – and it was very good to meet you. Thanks for sharing the path with us. Peace to you Ian

  8. Paul Swann Posted on August 1, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for your inspiring work. The timing of your current Morning Bell series on Julian of Norwich is perfect for me as I am preaching on her as a Hero of the Faith this week. Would it be possible to use one or two of your images with quotations to illustrate my talk – with full credit shown or would you rather I did not do this. As a priest/spirituality adviser and photographer I appreciate the need for copyright protection!
    Blessings, Paul

    1. Ian Adams Posted on August 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      hi Paul, thanks for your kind comment and for asking about using the images. I’d be delighted for you to use them with credit shown. I hope it goes very well! Peace to you, Ian

  9. Glen Bennett Posted on August 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Hi there. Can you tell me if there are still places available for this weekends retreat?

    1. Ian Adams Posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      hi Glen there may be a place left – you’ll need to speak directly to Ammerdown via http://www.ammerdown.org as they administer the bookings – we hope it works for you to join us 🙂 peace to you Ian

  10. Marion Wright Posted on November 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Please add me to the e mail postings, thanks very much

    1. Ian Adams Posted on November 11, 2016 at 7:12 am

      thanks Marion, that’s done 🙂
      peace to you

      1. Claire Harvey Posted on November 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

        Hi Ian
        I recently downloaded the lovely ‘Seeking Light’ from the Proost website. I’m planning an Advent service in Penzance and wanted to know if I could use a few of the pages as part of a time of reflection please ? They’d set just the right tone for the space we wanted to create.
        We’d perhaps want to use a dozen. Let me know if poss and any costs. Many thanks

        1. Ian Adams Posted on November 27, 2017 at 9:46 am

          Hi Claire, thats’ great, and thanks for asking. That will be fine, no cost, please just credit them and also let people know that there is a book out on Canterbury press now based on the series. It’s called Some Small Heaven: https://canterburypress.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9781848259935/some-small-heaven
          Grace and peace to you Ian

  11. Alan Irvin Posted on April 19, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Hi, we ordered a couple of your books via ‘Proost’ where you are listed as one of the Proost artists. One book was 40 temptations which was quoted during a Lenten sermon. I can’t remember exactly what the other one was, possibly, ‘Come and See – a guide for beginning and sustaining a missional venture’.

    £7.98 has been taken by Proost from our Paypal account but we haven’t received the goods which were ordered 5th March (order no. 8929. Not sure what your relationship is with Proost but having had no response from Proost I thought I’d try contacting you directly.

    Apologies for using this as a method for contacting you but there is no email r phone contact for either Proost or yourself.

    1. Ian Adams Posted on April 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      hi Alan, sorry to hear that there was a problem. Before I contact Proost, an obvious question – did you know that Proost only sell material for download online? So normally Proost would send you an mail with a link to download whatever you ordered. Please let me know either way… Peace to you today Ian

  12. Lynn Snow Posted on July 12, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Dear Ian
    I am doing a seminar at Redcliffe College in Gloucester around vulnerable children. I remember you read a beautiful challenging poem about experience of adoption. Could you remind me of the title so I can look it up and share with the students?

    1. Ian Adams Posted on July 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      hi Lynn. Good to hear from you, and great that you want to use and share the poem. It’s called The Love Child of some Unknown Grace – and is in the Unfurling collection:

      Let me know if you have any issues getting hold of a copy – happy to you email it to you.
      Peace to you

  13. Jacky Stride Posted on September 24, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Hi Ian and Gail. I really enjoyed the retreat at Scargill last week – Breathing Deep. Would it be possible to have a copy of the Invocations and Blessings you used. They were lovely, and with your permission I would like to use them from time to time in Contemplative Fire settings and on the Spiritual Growth course I am involved in running. Thank you.

    1. Ian Adams Posted on September 24, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      hi Jacky – great to meet you last week. Thanks for all your encouragements and insights. Delighted to share the invocations and blessings with you. We’ll email you a copy. Looking forward to seeing you again at Whirlow in Lent for the launch of Temenos! Grace and peace from us I&G

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