October 2012

Martin Luther was born on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben. His father was a copper miner. Luther studied at the University of Erfurt and in 1505 decided to join a monastic order, becoming an Augustinian friar. He was ordained in 1507, began teaching at the University of Wittenberg and in 1512 was made a doctor of Theology. In 1510 he visited Rome on behalf of a number of Augustinian monasteries, and was appalled by the corruption he found there.

Luther became increasingly angry about the clergy selling ‘indulgences’ – promised remission from punishments for sin, either for someone still living or for one who had died and was believed to be in purgatory. On 31 October 1517, he published his ’95 Theses’, attacking papal abuses and the sale of indulgences.

Luther had come to believe that Christians are saved through faith and not through their own efforts. This turned him against many of the major teachings of the Catholic Church. In 1519 -1520, he wrote a series of pamphlets developing his ideas – ‘On Christian Liberty’, ‘On the Freedom of a Christian Man’, ‘To the Christian Nobility’ and ‘On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. Thanks to the printing press, Luther’s ’95 Theses’ and his other writings spread quickly through Europe.

In January 1521, the Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther. He was then summoned to appear at the Diet of Worms, an assembly of the Holy Roman Empire. He refused to recant and Emperor Charles V declared him an outlaw and a heretic. Luther went into hiding at Wartburg Castle. In 1522, he returned to Wittenberg and in 1525 married Katharina von Bora, a former nun, with whom he had six children.

Luther then became involved in the controversy surrounding the Peasants War (1524 – 1526), the leaders of which had used Luther’s arguments to justify their revolt. He rejected their demands and upheld the right of the authorities to suppress the revolt, which lost him many supporters.

In 1534, Luther published a complete translation of the bible into German, underlining his belief that people should be able to read it in their own language. The translation contributed significantly to the spread and development of the German language.

Luther’s influence spread across northern and eastern Europe and his fame made Wittenberg an intellectual centre. In his final years he wrote polemics against the Jews, the papacy and the Anabaptists, a radical wing of the reforming movement.

Luther died on 18 February 1546 in Eisleben.

‘Control’ in this context( of death)  has two distinct meanings, both equally crucial.

In the first place, ‘control’, as you would expect, means priority and ability to manage, not to force, the compliance of others, to determine what others think or do. In the second, more elusive sense – a sense which, nevertheless, saves my life and which, once achieved, may induce the relinquishing of ‘control’ in the first sense — ‘control’ means that when something untoward happens, some trauma or damage, whether inflicted by the commissions or omissions of others, or some cosmic force, one makes the initially unwelcome event one’s own inner occupation.

You work to adopt the most loveless, forlorn, aggressive child as your own, and do not leave her to develop into an even more vengeful monster, who constantly wishes you ill. In ill-health as in unhappy love, this is the hardest work: it requires taking in before letting be.

Gillian Rose Loves Work


It feels that our love is more like a shoestring
although it appears to be such a good thing,
and all that we have now which is readily seen
may either be too loose or tight for us between.

If we continue on the path that we are both going
and it still seems little of each other are knowing,
instead of drawing us closer as true love demands
will see us moving further apart into distant lands.

Like people being scattered about in more than one direction
their progress is dependant on overcoming this real defection.
That we may have with each other in finding our true calling
and will help us both walk the path of grace in mutual loving.


George Krokos





A Cumberland Lodge residential conference

Changing Expectations of Death



Friday 23rd November

17.00    Arrival, Registration and Tea

17.30    Welcome by Dr Alastair Niven, Principal, Cumberland Lodge

17.45    Changing Patterns of Death and Dying                                                                     Plenary 1

Dr George Leeson, Co-Director, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing

            Professor Tom Kirkwood, Associate Dean for Ageing, Newcastle University


19.15    Reception in the Drawing Room followed by 19.30 Dinner


21.00    The Privacy of Death                                                                                                  Plenary 2

Nell Dunn, author and playwright of Home Death, with readings by Eunice Roberts


Saturday 24th November

08.15    Breakfast

09.00    What the End of Life Should be Like                                                                          Plenary 3

            Eve Richardson, CEO, The National Council for Palliative Care    

            Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff, Professor of Palliative Medicine

10.30    Coffee

11.00    Bereavement and Grief Services                                                                               Plenary 4

            Dr Kate Woodthorpe, University of Bath

            Professor Douglas Davies, University of Durham

12.30    Lunch followed by free time to enjoy the Great Park

15.00    The Ends of Life                                                                                                          Plenary 5

            Canon Dr James Woodward, Canon Steward, St George’s Chapel, Windsor

            Professor Helen Small, Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford                   

16.30    Tea

17.00    Changing Rituals around Death                                                                                 Plenary 6

Professor Linda Woodhead, Director, AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme,

Lancaster University

18.15    Pay bar followed by 18.45 Dinner

20.30    Autonomy and Assisted Dying                                                                                  Plenary 7

            Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve


Sunday 25th November

08.15    Breakfast

09.00    How different communities cope with death                                                            Plenary 8

            Rose Thompson, Director, BME Cancer Communities

            Professor Tony Walter, Professor of Death Studies, University of Bath

10.30    Coffee

11.00    Dying Young and Dying Old                                                                                       Plenary 9

            Dr Adrian Tookman, Director of the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead

            Bridget Lee, Psychological Therapies Team Manager, Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead


12.20    Wrap Up

            Professor Tom Kirkwood

12.30    Lunch followed by Departure


Cumberland Lodge, The Great Park, Windsor SL4 2HP         T: 01784 497794


When you are engrossed in thoughts of anger, hatred, envy, resentment or disgust, notice the way your horizons shrink and your creativity  diminishes. I find it impossible to write well when I am churning with resentment.

In the grip of these hostile pre-occupations, we become focused on ourselves, can think j of little else, and lose all wider perspective. We tend to assume that other people are the cause of our pain; with mindfulness, over time, we learn how often the real cause of our suffering is the anger that resides within us.

When we are enraged, we tend to exaggerate a persons defects – just as when we are seized by desire we accentuate somebodies attractions and ignore her faults, even though at  some level we may know that this is a delusion.

Lets work towards more emotional intelligence and honesty!


A nothing day full of
wild beauty and the
timer pings. Roll up
the silver off the bay
take down the clouds
sort the spruce and
send to laundry marked,
more starch. Goodbye
golden- and silver-
rod, asters, bayberry
crisp in elegance.
Little fish stream
by, a river in water.


James Schuyler, Closed Gentian Distances

 Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
 Thou tamer of the human breast,
 Whose iron scourge and torturing hour,
 The bad affright, afflict the best!
 Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
 And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.


 When first thy Sire to send on earth
 Virtue, his darling child, designed,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
 And bade to form her infant mind.
 Stern rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
 With patience many a year she bore:
 What sorrow was, thou bad’st her know,
And from her own she learned to melt at others’ woe.


Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
 Self-pleasing Folly’s idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
 And leave us leisure to be good.
 Light they disperse, and with them go
 The summer friend, the flattering foe;
 By vain Prosperity received,
 To her they vow their truth and are again believed.


Wisdom in sable garb arrayed,
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
 And Melancholy, silent maid
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
 With Justice to herself severe,
 And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.


Oh, gently on thy suppliant’s head,
 Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
 Nor circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thundering voice and threatening mien,
 With screaming Horror’s funeral cry,
 Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.


 Thy form benign, oh Goddess, wear,
 Thy milder influence impart,
 Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart,
 The generous spark extinct revive,
 Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
 What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.

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