It started as a conversation 18 months ago between two people over a cup of coffee. We are a small locally dispersed group that is committed to social action and we believe this comes out of building a community that eats together, prays together, relaxes together and then works together.
We believe that this world is God-breathed and sustained and is beautiful and we have each been created in the image of God and, although we acknowledge that we are not perfect and get so much wrong, we trust we all start from a place of original blessing and are all firmly loved by God. We are committed to exploring ways to positively affect the physical, environmental, spiritual, mental wellbeing of the community of Banstead in which we live and globally.
Although we currently have strong links to All Saints’ Church (Banstead) and Banstead URC we are not officially linked to any Christian denomination and seek to explore and journey with other spiritual seekers, those of any faith or no faith, who wish to work for the well-being of Banstead Village.
Although we meet unofficially on several occasions during the week (we are always looking for excuses to go for a coffee) we currently meet twice a month in a more structured way. We gather at 8.00pm on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at All Saints’ Church, Banstead – the Anglican church in the middle of the High Street. At 8.15 pm we move into a time of silent contemplative prayer. This is a time where we try to find stillness amid the rush of life, to find silence amid the noise and to search for and spend time with God.
Contemplation has been described as the ultimate meditation and if prayer isn’t your thing then this time can be used as a time for meditation, or mindfulness to give it another title, or just to be quiet. As I have already said you don’t have to have a faith to come and join us. We believe that these times of silence are essential as it is from a contemplative stance to life, a place of inner strength, grace and peace, or to use my favourite Hebrew word shalom, that we begin to see ideas for compassionate action emerge. The time of silence finishes with a very short night prayer. Don’t worry if praying isn’t for you – it is just a way of marking the end of that section of our gathering.
We then retire to the pub where we allow these ideas for social action, that have started to flow from the time of contemplation, to take shape. This time is just as important for us as we firmly believe that contemplation and action are two sides of the same coin and one is always feeding the other.
If anything that we are trying to do has grabbed your attention please either join us on our next Sunday gathering which is the 8th September, or contact me Ian Whitley on either 07961 382293 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As I said, I’m always looking for an excuse to go for a coffee (or a pint) and chat about how we make this world a better place for all of us to live in.