The CTBI Lent Course 2016 represents a departure in style and format from that offered in previous years. Each week, we are invited to gather in groups for reflection and spiritual conversation around a series of themes drawn from the overarching title of ‘Pilgrimage’. The idea is that we embark on a spiritual journey through Lent, both alone and in company, sharing with others our personal reflections, stories and insights.
The notion of ‘Pilgrimage’ is presented in the form of collections of sayings, images, wisdom and prayers from a variety of sources, which are gathered into a pack of seven conversation booklets suitable for personal and group use. Each member of a group will need their own copy of the pack, which will be used as a personal journal.
Designed and produced by Shoreline Conversations on behalf of CTBI, these booklets take up the theme of pilgrimage in a way that is resonant and accessible both to those familiar with pilgrim journeys and also those who simply wish to explore it as a metaphor for our spiritual journey through life.
The conversation pack is available to view online although you may find it more convenient to purchase the printed version for use in groups.
Conversation packs can be ordered online from Church House Bookshop, or via phone from Norwich Books and Music. The packs will be available in English and Welsh.
Church House Bookshop (online)
Norwich Books and Music
Tel: 01603 785925,
Website and magazine
In addition to the conversation pack, there is a dedicated website www.lentpilgrimage.org.uk and a beautiful, large format magazine Editions with articles reflecting on the theme in both electronic and printed formats. During Lent, there will be supplementary material added to the website which relates to key events in the season such as St David’s Day, Mothering Sunday and St Patrick’s Day.
Notes for group leaders
Guidance is given for the benefit of group leaders about preparation for and conduct of the sessions – welcoming, creating a focus, presenting the material, allowing time for individual reflection, feeding back of insights gained before leading into a more general conversation time. There is an emphasis on hearing and receiving each person’s contribution respectfully.
BBC Radio 4 and BBC Local radio
This year’s course is linked, for those who would like to listen, with Sunday Worship on BBC Radio 4 and Daily Services, which will take the idea of Pilgrimage as inspiration. There will also be related Sunday morning programmes across the BBC’s network of local radio stations (find your Local BBC Radio station).
The Lent programme will be introduced on 14 February when the broadcast Sunday morning service will be led by Shoreline Conversations team members Revd Ruth Harvey and Lynne Ling.
The Seven Pilgrimage Themes are:
Week 1: The Open Road
The hope, longing, purpose or invitation that motivates us to leave our normal environment or present perspective; seeking spiritual sustenance as we begin an intentional spiritual journey.
Week 2: Taking and Leaving
The need to travel lightly and the process of becoming unencumbered. Making choices about what is essential and what is peripheral to the undertaking.
Week 3: Becoming Present
Cultivating a certain availability and openness; allowing experiences and environments to speak to us; a quality of being, self-discipline and attentiveness to what is within and without.
Week 4: Alone and Together
Our need for companionship on our journey to God, beginning to trust those who do not share our own perspectives; reflecting on the experience of many people on the move today, fleeing war and persecution in search of a better life.
Week 5: Living with Uncertainty
Between here and there; living with paradox and uncertainty; questioning the journey yet keeping faith; emerging dimensions prompted by unexpected events, people and places.
Week 6: Sacred Encounter (Holy Week)
Reaching our chosen destination; encountering the Sacred in silence and suffering; changing expectations and the invitation to change and renew.
Week 7: Pilgrim Living (post-Easter)
Returning home and its implications; what we are learning, how we are changed by the journey, things we are motivated to do that are different than before because of the experience.