January 2015


“Nothing holds firm.  Everything is here today and gone tomorrow.   But the good things of life– truth, justice, and beauty– all great accomplishments need time, constancy, and memory, or they degenerate. The man who feels neither responsibility towards the past nor desire to shape the future is one who forgets.  And I do not know how one can really get at such a person and bring him to his senses.”                                                



-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (d. 1945)


the endless knot


The endless knot is one of the eight fortunate symbols in Tibetan Buddhism. It has many meanings.

It is a pattern that is closed in on itself with no gaps, signifying the interrelatedness of everything.

It shows that the apparent disharmony and contradictoriness of the world we see is, seen properly, an illusion, disguising a world that is balanced, complete, and utterly interconnected.

In particular, it signifies the union of compassion and wisdom: that they are two aspects of the same thing.

When given as a gift, it indicates a deep karmic connection between giver and receiver, but in the context of a universe in which, seen with the eye of enlightement, all the scattered and disparate components are similarly, intricately, linked.

At the level of giver and receiver, it says “I love you.” At the level of the consciousness of the Buddha mind, it says “love.”


with thanks to Tom Davis


morning rain


The dawn light. A light rain.
I hear it on the treetop leaves.
Then, the mist. The morning wind
blows it and the clouds away.

Now colours deepen, and a sense of grace:
the presence of water.
And then, across the landscape
the smell of morning rain.


Du Fu (712-770 AD) tr. Tom Davis




Look: how they grow to be each other.
In their veins there is only God.
Each other’s axis, a shimmering shape
that glows, like fire, a rapture, a delight.
They thirst, and are each other’s wine;
see, how they are each other’s seeing.
Let us let each rejoice into the other:
outlasting self, outlasting all.

Rilke, The Lovers, transl. Tom Davis.



Diocese of Bath and Wells

Diocesan Healing Group event





Saturday, 7th March 2015


Healthcare is increasingly driven by clinical outcomes, budgets, targets and political constraints. This is at the expense of whole-person care and personal well-being – for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Could the Church and other Faith Communities collaborate better with Healthcare to remedy this dis-ease?


The purpose of the conference is to explore the meaning of healing and the interface between Healthcare and Faith Communities in general, and the Christian Healing Ministry in particular. Promoting a common understanding, shared goals, and a closer relationship between people with different roles in healthcare and healing — medical, pastoral, social and spiritual – we’ll ask whether and how these might be better integrated and ultimately, how to reconcile the physical and spiritual in healthcare.


The event is open to all – healthcare professionals, clergy, lay members of our congregations and healing teams, and anyone interested in health and healing – a programme in which all can participate; teaching, learning from one another, encouraging, and, we hope, inspiring.

Keynote Speakers


Bishop Peter Maurice, Bishop of Taunton, Conference Chairman


Revd. Dr. Jeremy Swayne, Chairman, Diocesan Healing Advisory Group

The Language of Healing — A retired doctor, and author of “Remodelling Medicine”, Jeremy Swayne will explore the way we talk about healing, what we mean by the word and how we use it in various contexts; and what are ‘natural’ healing, ‘holistic’ healthcare, and ‘integrative’ medicine.


Professor Paul Dieppe, Professor of Health and Wellbeing, Exeter University; former Dean, Bristol University Medical School

The Landscape of Healing – Paul Dieppe will draw  on his research to speak on the diverse manifestations of ‘healing’ and the work of ‘healers’ in our own and other cultures.


Revd. Canon Dr. James Woodward, Canon of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

Encountering Illness, Encountering Healing – James Woodward will speak from his experience of chaplaincy and pastoral theology about finding healing through illness, and the role of the church in mediating this.


Dr. Ross Bryson, Birmingham General Practitioner and pioneer of GP chaplaincy

Whole person general practice – Ross Bryson will examine healing as an aspiration and a reality in everyday primary care, and in the life of the local community.


Workshop Themes

  • Healing the medical culture: Cum scientia caritas; the patient, not the cure
  • Illness as the agent of healing: chaplaincy; end of life care; healing present wounds rooted in the past
  • Reconciliation and justice: healing in a broken world
  • Whole person general practice; care in the community
  • Creation healed: health, healing and the environment; our responsibility for ourselves and our world
  • A healing Church: healing prayer, healing presence; changing lives, changing communitiesAccreditationFor doctors, accreditation will be offered by the Somerset GP Educational TrustVenueYeovil has train stations on the Waterloo-Exeter and Gloucester-Bristol-Weymouth lines; The conference will be a full day event with lunch providedAfter February 7th – £30.00For enquiries or to register interest, please contact Josie Halla            johanna.halla@bathwells.anglican.org.Further details and full registration in early January
  • Early bird registration, by February 7th – £20.00
  • Cost
  • and bus connections from Bristol (via Wells), Taunton, and other points in Somerset
  • Holy Trinity Church and Community Centre, Yeovil http://www.hty.org.uk/
  • The conference will be eligible for inclusion in CPD portfolios


who died?


When death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.