Mystical experience is given to some but contemplation is for all Christians'. Arthur Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury 1961-1974
'Love is His meaning' Julian of Norwich
The meaning is in the waiting' R S Thomas
By Love He may be caught and held. By reason, never' Cloud of Unknowing
Jesus said: "where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst"
Matthew 18: 20
Who Goes to Julian Meetings?
A Julian Meeting is usually up to 15 people from all walks of life. They meet regularly in a house, church, chapel or other suitable place.
Julian Meetings are open and ecumenical. Everyone is welcome if they are willing to respect the Christian context. Some belong to a Church, some don't.
There is no maximum number but experience suggests that if a meeting attracts more than a dozen or so at each meeting it may be time to consider splitting into two meetings. But there are no rules.
There is no minimum. Our Lord said 'where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst.' Matthew 18: 20
Who Leads a Julian Meeting?
People usually take it in turns to open and close the silence. There is no formal leadership or set formula. Some might not want to lead and that is fine.
Esssential administrative work, arranging a venue, publicity, responding to enquiries and so on is usually, but not necessarily, done by the Meeting First and Second Contacts. (We require two contact persons for registration). These are appointed by the meeting.
However, each meeting will make their own organisational arrangements.
See the 'Start a Meeting' page for more information and resources about Meetings
Why Go To A Meeting?
Belonging to a group of people who meet regularly to pray in silent contemplation can be a great help and encouragement. We do not feel isolated. Prayerful silence is greatly helped when two or three gather together, and this complements our daily personal prayer.
Some find the discipline of a regular meeting easier to manage than trying to find a time to be silent at home.If we are having problems with our praying, sharing them can help us grow through them. The Julian Meetings provide these opportunities, and exist to foster the practice and teaching of contemplative prayer.
The regular meeting with others who value the prayer of silence can facilitate a very deep spiritual bond. This is difficult to describe until experienced!
A meeting has only one purpose, which is to share the experience of contemplative prayer together and to promote The Julian Meetings aims and objectives. We do not get involved in other causes and activities, be they social, political or charitable. Individual members may be active in other areas but this is an individual matter. This is the 'Single Pointedness' listed in the attributes of the Ideal Julian Meeting.
We feel this is one of the major attractions of a Julian Meeting. We can leave all our other cares and concerns and simply rest in God together.
Keep it simple
Stay single pointed
Have no set leadership
Have minimal organisation
Keep it small
Are open to all
Are willing to experiment with form
Julian Meetings vary and are free to do things in their own way. A brief reading, not necessarily from Scripture, and/or a short piece of music leads into a period of silent contemplative prayer. The leader will signal the end of the silence with another short reading and/or music.
The main requirement for a Julian Meeting is that there should be a substantial period of silence. The most usual length is 30 minutes. It should not be less than 20 minutes and can be as long as the meeting decides. This is not interrupted in any way.
At the end of the silence there is usually a time for tea and coffee and conversation for those who want this.
What Do You Teach?
"Nothing" is the short answer. We are not affiliated to any particular faith tradition, church, doctrine or dogma. We do not teach any particular method of meditation or contemplative prayer.
Participants will belong to a variety of faith traditions and have a variety of personal beliefs.
We encourage people to find out what is right for them; to discover how they can integrate contemplation and meditation into their daily prayer life and how personal and contemplative prayer and meditation can enrich each other.
We offer various resources to help along the way and each person will no doubt have their own advice to offer. Just ask!
Just remember that an individual's opinion is their own and not indicative of any official opinion of The Julian Meetings.