Contemplative Fire Creating a community of Christ at the Edge (Logo)

The Contemplative Fire Post

February 2023 - Issue no.62

rainbow, candles and yellow flowers in a vase

...Holy Rood House Chapel

Some Inclusive thoughts from the Chair

On occasions I have to settle and sit in quiet reflection as I consider a few words to share in the CF Post; however, on this occasion a few things have happened which prompt me without hesitation to write this contribution.

Earlier in the month, the General Synod of the Church of England met in London, the main item on the agenda was a debate on the bishops’ proposal on same sex relationships and marriage following the six-year, churchwide consultation process called Living in Love and Faith. For some the very process itself has been costly in personal terms and they had to bow out of the engagement feeling hurt. For many, the term “radical Christian inclusion” as first coined by the archbishops was going to mean a significant step forward on the road to the full inclusion of LGBT+ folk into the life and ministry of the church. You may well be aware because of the media coverage that the final proposal from the House of Bishops fell a long way short of what many were hoping for, with some saying that enough was enough and tearfully leaving the church which had been a part of faith journeys for a long time.

I have just returned for a deep and rich experience of our CF retreat at Holy Rood House in Thirsk called “Listening to the Space Between” led by Jenny Tipping, a Quaker and teacher of Non-Violent Communication. A touching and meaningful exercise for me was when our small groups of three people, who had met together for a few times, were told we would be joined by six others. This may not sound much but as the three of us had settled into squashy sofas, shared and laughed together there was a real visceral resistance to our little group being broken up, never to reform, with all the unsettling uncertainties of who would be joining us and what ideas they would bring with them. This was a powerful challenge to how we go about welcoming people into our communities, groups, and indeed churches. The sense of the familiar, the shared “squashy sofas” is palpable, and it is a challenge to offer a real and meaningful welcome the “other” who may well be very different from us and ruffle our settled comfortable ways.

This morning as I was going through the CF e mails, there was one mail which asked if CF was an inclusive community as the writer had looked at our website and other documents and could not see it stated clearly anywhere, and wanted to be assured that we are a safe space for all. At first, I was a bit taken aback before I realised that this is something which needs stating clearly and openly as to those looking in for perhaps the first time, may be looking for this reassurance.

Years ago, when I first began to engage with CF I clearly remember Philip Roderick, our community founder, saying to me that the Contemplative Fire Community was inclusive in its DNA, from its very inception. This is the message I clearly want to state here, especially in the light of the current situation in the Church of England, that Contemplative Fire IS an inclusive community, and all are welcome to journey and explore with us in a safe environment and will be shown the deep respect deserved by all.

“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common.
Celebrate it every day”
-Winston Churchill

Go Well, Dancing in Celebration


white eagle lodge

Subject: Fw: CANA and White Eagle Lodge Event

Dear Contemplative Fire,

CANA (Christians Awakening to New Awareness) is responding to the current shift around the world towards a more interconnected and loving society by coming together with other groupings, both within and allied to the Christian tradition, to explore the emergence of a more universal spirituality. Our present initiative is to organise and hold a conference event with the White Eagle Lodge, who share similar Wisdom-based teachings to those of Jesus the Christ. We therefore warmly invite you to respond to the details attached ( and hope that you can both circulate this to your own constituency and that a few of you might be able to join us in person or online.

I was involved with CF when Philip was leading it and came to some events many years ago now, but I live out in West Wales now. I visited Philip and Gill shortly after they retired to Saltdean and was dismayed to learn that both of them had serious illness. I hope they are both keeping their spirits up.

With every blessing

Revd Don MacGregor,

CANA Core Group

We recently had a 'Time of Togetherness' led by Graham and Valerie North on "Looking Back, Looking Forward", which was an opportunity to review the year past and the year that lies ahead. If you missed it and would like to watch it back, here is the link:

This will be available for about a month. Do make sure you've got good Wifi / 3G / 4G / 5G to be able to watch it back, as you can't download it from this link.

Also, we are looking forward to seeing you at our next 'Time of Togetherness', which will actually be Sunday 12th February 5-6pm (the second Sunday of the month this time). This one will be a "Many Voices" one, where we all reflect on a quote shared by a Companion of CF and an image and can share a little of our own reflections together within a held context of deeper silence and listening. The link for this has just been shared via email, I hope you can join us.

moon in blue sky between tree branches with quote from Meister Eckhart

Melanie Shared:

I love this quote from Meister Eckhart...

“The soul is created in a place between Time and Eternity: with its highest powers it touches Eternity, with its lower Time."

And thought this picture suited it a little somehow.

I love Meister Eckharts work too, though I perceive the concept of eternity as also being a temporal thing and am more of a timeless/outside of time kind of thinker...

Probably a little to do with my long essay being on Aquinas' and time and eternity..I now wonder if I'd found Eckhart sooner how that essay would have come out... time is a funny thing.

Finally again we would invite you to share this newsletter, and get others to sign up to it too, do share the facebook group, share the website, share our community out - and as importantly share into our community too, for only together do we grow inot that living flame that is Contemplative Fire!

Remember please do send us your inclusions for the Contemplative Fire Post - This is your space to share to our wider community and there is nothing too small or too big to share that will not be welcomed by your fellow companions and our friends!

We really are looking for things of interest for inclusion, so please do share by emailing your contributions (poems, images, questions, reflections, resources, prayers - anything!) ready for next edition by the 25th of the month - emails to Melanie at