morning bell: 3000 series

Earlier this year we realised that sometime around now we must be posting the 3000th Morning Bell! We began sending it out as a text message in 2008, converting it in 2012 into a visual image. In the next few months we’ll be returning to some of our earlier visual series, and sharing some vintage Morning Bells. Thank you for traveling with us, whatever the point at which you joined us.

 

 

 

Our aim remains as it was at the beginning, in the spirit of the praying monastics to enter stillness on even the busiest of days, seeking that still point of our belovedness from which everything tough may be faced, and from which everything good can emerge.

This start to the 3000 series features a series of images and text originally  posted in September 2012. The photos for the series are a mix from Andrea Harding and Ian Adams, and feature the holy islands of  Lindisfarne and Iona. The text invites us to follow Jesus the Christ in the spirit and footsteps of saints of those islands such as Aidan and Cuthbert. The bell on the 3000 Morning Bells image is at Westcott House Cambridge.

Grace and peace to you for the ongoing journey…
Ian & Gail

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Unfurling cover final - Version 3

Ian’s latest collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

 

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Morning Bell: Ecclesiastes series (for everything a season)

This series of Morning Bell is working with a well-known passage from Ecclesiastes, one of the wisdom books of the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian Old Testament. The writer of Ecclesiastes (‘the Teacher’ – probably writing in the 3rd century BC) ponders the absurdity and the goodness of life. Ecclesiastes can seem care-worn, even cynical: ‘All is vanity’. ‘All things are wearisome’ and ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. But it is full also of possibility: ‘Light is sweet’. ‘Banish anxiety from your mind’ and ‘remember your creator.’ It is a book, we sense, for our demanding times, and one to which Morning bell will return.

 

 

 

 

For us, each line is as much a question as it is a proclamation. And the book is both deeply personal and absolutely communal. For you and for me. And for the world. It asks us – how do you want things to be? And how will you play your part in the shaping of a better world now?

The images for the series were all taken on Iona by Ian, most of them this past summer on the Beloved Life ‘Unfurling’ week with the Iona Community. We invite you to join us in spending time each day in the company of Ecclesiastes, and in the setting of Iona, a place that invites both big questions and deep faith. In stillness and prayer may we discover a renewed sense of hope for ourselves and for the world.

Grace and peace to you
Ian & Gail

 

There are various other ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

 

Unfurling cover final - Version 3

Ian’s latest collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

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Beloved Life retreats: Scargill, Oxford and Iona

 

We’re halfway through our retreat/event programme for 2015 – and it’s been a great experience. Thank you so much to everyone who has joined us at Scargill, Oxford and on Iona and for your thoughtful and passionate engagement with us. It’s wonderful  to explore the spiritual path together. Here’s a few photos – you can see more on our Facebook page.

a Scargill Unfurling session
a Scargill Unfurling session
the chapel at Scargill
the chapel at Scargill
Oxford walk together
Oxford walk 
Oxford body prayer
Oxford body prayer
cloister conversation Iona
cloister conversation Iona
St Columba's Bay Iona
St Columba’s Bay Iona

We are looking forward to more retreats coming up at Ammerdown, Sheldon and Glastonbury. Hope to see you in the still space somewhere soon!

Ian & Gail

 

 

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Morning Bell: pilgrimage series – on the Camino

 

This new Morning bell series for Pentecost and the start of the Trinity season explores pilgrimage. The essence of pilgrimage is a physical journey made with spiritual intention. We hope that this series may inspire you to make such a journey – local or far from home, short or demanding. If that’s not possible may you be able to take something of the spirit of pilgrimage into your life at this time.

Pilgrimage series: on the Camino
Pilgrimage series: on the Camino

Photography for the series is by Natalie Baxter Strange, in which she beautifully documents her own experience of joining the famous pilgrimage route to the shrine of St James in Northern Spain – the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Natalie says ‘while walking on the Camino I discovered the joy of slowing down and taking photographs. When I slow down and look through the lens of my camera, I notice details I would have otherwise missed. Photography has become another way for me to listen to God and to express something of my faith in him.’ Text for the series is adapted from a Pilgrim’s Prayer commonly used on the Camino. If you want to explore more about pilgrimage Ian has written about the practice in Running Over Rocks.

Grace and peace to you for your own experience of pilgrimage this Pentecost and Trinity…
Ian & Gail

There are various other ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s latest collection of poems Unfurling is out now in paperback and e-format on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, via Kindle and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More