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York Minster event explores the healing, calming power of silence

1 May, 2018

Article by Sharon Atkinson

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The restorative power of silence and silent meditation will be explored in Silence in the Minster, a special after-hours event in the magnificent surroundings of York Minster’s Nave on Thursday 26 April at 7.00pm.

The Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, Chancellor of York Minster said:

“We lead rushed, busy, lives, juggling multiple responsibilities, absorbing the daily noise of our lives as a matter of routine.  We are plugged into an amazing, exciting but often overwhelming online, digital world, which spends seemingly endless resources on capturing our time and attention. There is a huge amount of pressure, particularly on young people, to be involved and connected 24/7.

“Many report that they are totally exhausted by the noise and constant demands of everyday life and how difficult it is to find somewhere – anywhere – where they can escape and be quiet even if just for a short while.  The Silence in the Minster event will allow many people to encounter the restorative, calming, healing power of silent meditation and silence, possibly for the first time.”

Organised by the York Minster Pilgrimage Group, this event follows two highly successful pilot events run in the Minster last year. The response was overwhelming in terms both of attendance and appreciation. The evening will begin with Canon Chris talking about how to embrace, enter into, use and enjoy silence, drawing on the deep well of teaching, resources and experience in the Christian contemplative tradition, before leading periods of meditation. No previous experience of silent meditation is necessary, although those with experience are more than welcome, and the event is open to people of all faiths and of none.

People will be encouraged to sit and experience the silence and special stillness of the Minster in the evening or simply wander through the Minster quietly as they wish. The silence will be sustained by the reading of poetry at regular intervals. The evening will conclude with a contemplative service of night prayer with music provided by students from the University of York and arranged by one of the Minster’s choral scholars, George Clark.  George will also play violin at various stages in the evening.

Silence in the Minster will be held in the Nave at York Minster on Thursday 26 April from 7.00 -9.00pm. The event is free to enter, although donations will be welcome (entrance is via the Northwest door from 6.30pm) and everyone is welcome to attend.


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