CHIPS Supporter John Hopkins writes:
Hilfield Friary, a Community House of the Anglican Society of St Francis on the edge of the beautiful Dorset Downs, hosted a stimulating weekend led by Paul Rose, Elfrida Calvocoressi and Jonathan Herbert.
A diverse group of participants lived and shared together as they explored how Jesus’ incarnation and way of being with people continues to provide opportunities to bring peace in the world.
Chances to share in the regular Franciscan rhythms of prayer and worship were taken enthusiastically. It was particularly exciting and stimulating to see the ways in which those both experienced and new to the work of CHIPS combined together and developed a more complete appreciation and awareness of the depth and complexity of peacemaking.
The weekend encouraged individual relaxation and restoration, while highlights involved exploring the extensive grounds and impressive snowdrops as well as eating, drinking and sharing together around the meal table.
A wonderfully diverse and lively group of people joined the "Christian Peacemaking through Presence" weekend at Hilfield Friary from 21st to 23rd Feb.
With deep bible study, a wide range of prayer methods, stories aplenty and much discussion, the group unpacked some of what Presence means for peacemaking from the New Testament. Leaders Rev Jonathan Herbert of Hilfield Friary, CHIPS Trustee Elfrida Calvocoressi, and myself (CHIPS Director Paul Rose), shared of how we have seen this work out in Liverpool, Ghana, Uganda, Cyprus and many other places, while others in the group gave examples and input from their own experience.
Watching the beautiful yet harrowing film Of Gods and Men on the Saturday night tied together many of the themes already explored and gave all a new light on the reality of being present in conflict situations. There was also a session where some members joined Jonathan in weaving a web using foraged materials, giving a visual means to explore some of the ideas being discussed (see picture).
I also had a chance to share something of the new plans for CHIPS to work in South London, giving a context closer to home and a clear vision that presence is both central to the story of CHIPS so far as well as key to it's future.
We hope to have some notes from the seminar on here over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for more content under the Biblical Resources section.
Thank you to Hilfield Friary and all their fantastic team and community, and particularly to all the participants who came and made this weekend so special. Please pray with us that it will inspire others to share about CHIPS, collaborate with us and maybe even to join us in our new ventures!
by Paul Rose