In the heart of the busy city of Bradford, a group of Christians from across the diocese are learning to appreciate silence and use it as a part of prayer and worship.
During the past two months, 'Exploring Silence' workshops have taken place at Bradford Cathedral for those with either no former experience of silence based prayer, and those who have experienced silence on retreat and would like to further their experience.
Now a Silence Clinic will take place at Bradford Cathedral on Wednesday 15 November, from 7.30-9pm for others who may be curious about silence, who use silence but have more questions, or would like the opportunity to talk about the difficulties and challenges of sustaining silence-based prayer.
Leading the Silence Clinic is Dr Alison Woolley, the Director of the Seeds of Silence project. She has lived and worshipped in Bradford since 1996 and completed a PhD research project into contemporary Christian women's spiritual practices of silence at the University of Birmingham in 2015.
Alison set up Seeds of Silence to encourage and support people in developing their own use and understanding of the ancient Christian tradition of prayerful silence. Alison combines her role in offering Seeds of Silence workshops throughout the UK with spiritual accompaniment and her work as a Music Therapist with young people with complex learning and physical difficulties,
Alison explains the purpose of the Silence Clinic. “The Silence Clinic is an opportunity for anyone who is interested in exploring silence-based prayer to try this out in a supportive setting with other people. For those who already use silence-based prayer, the evening offers a space to talk with others about any questions and difficulties you might have about sustaining or deepening your practice of silence.”
The format of the evening will include a short input about an aspect of silence-based , a period of shared silence, time to discuss the experience, opportunities for questions, a short, led meditation and then a longer shared silence of around 20 minutes as well as time to discuss some more.