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Teaching spiritual practices: new possibilities

23rd June 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 25th June 2023 @ 3:00 pm


Leader: Dr Rupert Sheldrake

Teaching Spiritual Practices: new possibilities for cathedrals, churches & church schools

Recent scientific research has shown that, in general, people who have regular religious or spiritual practices are happier, healthier, and live longer.  I have written two books on the scientific study of spiritual practices, Science and Practices and Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work, each of which explore seven different practices. Nowadays, a range of spiritual practices are taught in secular settings, like mindfulness meditation, yoga, and spiritual openings through psychedelics.  What I would like to explore with the participants in this Parcevall Hall weekend is how spiritual practices could be taught more widely through Christian institutions.  Can churches, cathedrals and church schools help to promote practices which can give stronger personal experiences of spiritual connection?  In particular I would like to explore new possibilities for pilgrimage, and for the teaching of prayer, Christian meditation, and chanting, as well as the revisioning of festivals and holy days. This workshop will be based on both theory and practice, with plenty of time for discussion and will also, hopefully, include a short pilgrimage.

Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author of more than a hundred technical papers and nine books, including The Science Delusion. As a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, he was Director of Studies in Cell Biology, and was also a research fellow of the Royal Society. He worked in Hyderabad, India, as Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and also lived for two years in the Benedictine ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu. From 2005-2010, he was Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for the study of unexplained human and animal abilities, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California and of Schumacher College in Dartington, Devon. He lives in London and is married to Jill Purce, with whom he has two sons. His web site is

FULLY BOOKED –  Waiting List available







23rd June 2023 @ 4:00 pm
25th June 2023 @ 3:00 pm