Contemplative School of the Heart
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St Theresa 


The Emerging School

A contemplative school of the heart has emerged out of a preparatory period of nearly seven years of the Contemplative Spirituality Network programme of talks, quiet days, art courses and retreats. The unique character of this school within the current wider movement of contemplative Christianity alive in this age lies in the way it embraces, at depth, the living teaching, and golden thread, of the Christian mystical tradition from the Spanish renaissance through the writings, and lineage, of Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.

This embraces the possibility of opening the inner ‘eye’ and ‘ear’ of our heart to receive, more fully, the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching, particularly his beatitudes, to be transformed, in love, within the body of Christ. It also embraces, and opens the door to, deeper dialogue with other expressions within Christianity and also other faith traditions.

The second distinctive characteristic comes from special relationships with places where the work has been regularly offered. On the one hand, there is the Rose Window Hermitage, which is a place of hospitality, community, prayer, teaching and retreat in the city. Another place of significance is the sacred site of Holy Isle, off the west coast of Scotland, where the ‘Radiance of the Heart ‘ retreat will be held in August.

The third distinctive characteristic of the school is the growing curriculum of contemplative retreats, spiritual formation and teaching resources, ongoing publications and artistic expression. Creativity flows freely from contemplation, and artistic expression is woven into every aspect of the work of the school of the heart. A small community of contemplative artists meets regularly to discern, learn and find support for this way of life where art is integral to spiritual transformation. There are also ongoing ‘Imagination and Creative Vision’ painting courses being offered, which is given focus in the development of the ‘Windows into the Heart’ project.

The Life of a Spiritual School

The life of a spiritual school is nurtured by establishing a rhythm of regular meetings where, in an atmosphere of spiritual friendship, a deep schooling or education of the heart is possible. Regular retreat days every month, as well as four retreat weekends, are being offered during 2014. These retreats aim to intensify the aliveness of the inner life, deepen prayer and allow nourishment of the heart and soul, in order to serve others within our individual and varied life contexts.

A school of the heart is understood as threefold movement around experience of spiritual community, contemplative practice and receiving the transmission of Christian contemplative wisdom. The monthly gatherings follow a pattern of spiritual practices working together for spiritual formation: spiritual conversation, prayer and listening together with sacred texts and will usually take place on the 1st or 2nd Saturday each month at the Rose Window Hermitage in Kilburn, North London. Please bring lunch to share, and donations for the day, and the school, are welcome.

   Contemplative School of the Heart Printable leaflet



Rose Window

Monthly Retreat days on Saturday

January 11th, Febuary 1st, April 5th,
June 7th, July 12th, Aug 2nd,
September 13th, October 4th, November 1st,
December 6th, 2014

The Rose Window Hermitage,
North London

Please book at




St John of the Cross

Christian Mindfulness Meditation Retreats

Four Retreats on Saturday and Sundays

May 31st and June 1st
July 26th and 27th
October 11th and 12th
December 13th and 14th

   Printable leaflet

The Rose Window Hermitage,
Kilburn, North London

Retreat Leader Deanna Skittrall

Please book at or




St John of the Cross

Caverns of the Heart Retreat
Thursday 27th Feb - Sun March 2nd

   Printable leaflet


Contemplative School of the Heart Retreats
May 2nd to 4th, July 18th – 20th,
Sept 19th - 21st, November 28th – 30th, 2014

at the House of Prayer, 35 Seymour Road
East Molesey, Surrey KT8 0PB

Viv Stacey, Julienne McLean, Judy Barber

Please book at or




Holy Island

Abiding in the Radiance of the Heart Retreat
At the Centre for World Peace and Health
Holy Island, Scotland

August 23rd – 30th, 2014

Julienne McLean, Viv Stacey, Judy Barber, and
Rev Michael Gartland

   Printable leaflet

Please book at




Imagination and Creative Vision
Drawing and Painting courses

Three courses (four day workshops each course)

from 10.30am – 4.30pm each workshop

Friday Jan 31st, Feb 21st, March 21st, April 11th, and
Friday May 9th, May 30th, June 20th and July 11th

(Sept – Dec course dates to be confirmed)

at The Rose Window Hermitage,
North London

Clare Barton-Harvey, Julienne McLean, Judy Barber

   Printable Leaflet

Booking for each course is required at