Friends of St Beuno’s October ‘16 Weekend…

Published on 28 Nov 2016

Over a mild and calm, last weekend of October, before Autumn really hit home, 27 Friends gathered for the third Friends of St Beuno’s weekend.  The programme was wide-ranging and consisted of old favourites, such as guided prayer and Beuno’s Bees; and new topics, such as the photographs of Frank Browne SJ, by Fr Dermot O’Connor, and a guided tour of the gardens with questions and answers, courtesy of gardener, Steve Liggins, who has contributed to this e-news (see, below, the photo of his Denbigh Flower Show awards this year].  All inputs were very gratefully received and appreciated.  Additionally, and in response to feedback forms from previous weekends, we included an opportunity for discussion and sharing, for learning and reflecting.  There was also a brief consultation on legacy-leaving, where Friends were asked for their thoughts on how to approach people with regard to wills.  

On the terrace

Then we took part in a short pilgrimage to the Rock Chapel for Evening Prayer, to commemorate the 150 years since its foundation.  Members of the Team joined the Friends for meals, for liturgy and prayer and for evening drinks. 

For myself, it was lovely to meet some new Friends and put names to faces, and I felt humbled by the depths of feeling people have for St Beuno’s and its work.  Though we were a talking group, we stayed alongside 25 retreatants journeying through the 30 days of Spiritual Exercises, supporting them by our prayer and with our care for the silence of the place. Here are some photos of the weekend and here’s to the next Friends weekend in Spring.  With deep gratitude to you all.

Ged Johnson (Coordinator of the Friends of St Beuno's)


Friendly feedback following the weekend…

We were very grateful for this which, in almost all cases, was very positive indeed.  We listen to it all and try to implement your recommendations where possible:

“Just a short message to say thank you for all the hard work which must have gone into organising the recent Friends’ weekend. All your efforts were much appreciated and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Lovely to meet and chat with all members of the Team. I hope and pray that St Beuno's will exist far into the future.”

“Thank you for a great weekend.  It must take a lot of preparation etc., but the contribution from the Team members has been most acceptable and welcome.” Steve Liggins giving a tour of the grounds

“Like so many others I’m sure, I truly appreciate your bringing this about and bringing us together.  Just now it is a life-line for me – the right amount of time for quiet/activity/socialising; I only wish St Beuno’s wasn’t so far away.”

“The opportunity to meet the Team again, to renew friendships and acquaintances and enjoy peace with like-minded people, the sharing, at meal times, of work etc. has been valuable”

“The weekend was recommended to me by another Friend.  I’m so pleased that she invited me”

A few thoughts on the photographs of Fr Frank Browne SJ (by Celia Bermingham)…

Written by Friend, Celia Bermingham, after reflecting on a session given by Fr Dermot O'Connor SJ, on the photographs of Fr Frank Browne SJ, at the recent Friends of St Beuno’s weekend.

The photographs of Fr. Frank Browne are truly Ignatian.

They have composition of place.

The imagination is drawn into play.

The eye and mind is led to what might or could be.

Interaction is elicited as the subject is considered and contemplated.

A response is required before one moves on.

But, there’s another aspect which has stayed with me since the talk.  Each of the photographs seem to have a considered setting, even if there was spontaneity in their capture.

The contrast which is there.

The black versus white.

The dark versus light.

The play of light to reveal something.

The need for the darkness to enhance the lightness.

My thoughts went to Discernment.

To see what is right for us, we need the input of all aspects of the case or plan.  We need the darkness to reveal the light.  We need the wrong to show the right.  We need to be aware of the downside before we can have the upside revealed in an acceptable way.

Darkness is acceptable for from it light and clarity are revealed.

Sin is there, perhaps, or evil, but their contrast is sanctity and all the more powerful and desired because of the contrast.

A poem, fruit of a guided prayer session (by Jenny Fiddes)…

Written by Friend, Jenny Fiddes, after reflecting upon ‘The Golden Light’ painting by Eberhard Munch during the guided prayer session at the recent Friends of St Beuno’s weekend.

The burnt-orange and golden colours entwine themselves –

Mysteriously moving forward.

They enfold me with their Beauty.

Silently, moving forwards – towards a window of crystal clear light

I am enfolded by the Golden Light – and keep moving on –

Joy, Love, Peace and All that is good – envelops me –


As I move through the window of Crystal Golden Light

and into the Presence of the Divine

Joy, Love, Peace and All that is good – envelops me –

The angels are singing sweetly.