a series of talks on silent prayer and contemplative living in today's world

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About Silence in the City

This series of talks on silent prayer and the Christian contemplative life has been running since 2007 in London's Westminster Cathedral Hall. We invite a range of speakers, each of whom is committed to the contemplative life; each meeting includes one or more talks, and at least one period devoted to silent prayer.

The speakers are invited to concentrate on the value of silence and the possibilities of silent prayer, but they are also encouraged to discuss any or all of the other monastic values of solitude, simplicity and contemplative service. The series is ecumenical in nature; we may in due course include representatives of other faiths.

"… contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom – freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.” Dr Rowan Williams, Address to the Catholic Bishops, 2013

Some speakers describe particular approaches to silent prayer; others speak more generally, though each gives guidance to those who need it on how to use the prayer periods.

At each talk there are book and information stands set up by groups offering different approaches to silent prayer – e.g. the World Community for Christian Meditation, Contemplative Outreach, and the Julian Meetings – where those interested can find out more about their teaching. (If you would like us to display leaflets about organisations and events of your own at our meetings, please get in touch beforehand.)

Follow the Archive link for a list of all talks given so far. The talks are recorded on our behalf by Agape Ministries, who will supply either CDs or MP3 files.

Silence in the City is organised by lay members of the World Community for Christian Meditation and Contemplative Outreach.  Our inspiration is the practice of silent prayer itself, and while we hope that this series of talks will continue, its real success will be measured by individuals’ discovery of a method of silent prayer that is right for them.

The name Silence in the City is copyright ©2007.

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Page updated by hn on 12 March 2013