Contemplative School of the Heart
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2017 Series   |  2018 Series

Previous Events



St Theresa 


A Contemplative School of the Heart has emerged out of the Contemplative Spirituality Network programme of talks, quiet days, art courses and retreats. The unique character of this school lies in the way, within the renewal of contemplative Christianity alive in our time, it embraces, at depth, the living teaching, and golden thread, of the Christian mystical tradition from the Spanish Renaissance.

Through the writings, and lineage, of the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross we can embrace the possibility of opening the inner ‘eye’ and ‘ear’ of our hearts to receive, more fully, the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching to be transformed, in union of Love, within the body of Christ.

The life of a spiritual school is nurtured by establishing a rhythm of regular meetings where, in an atmosphere of spiritual friendship, a deep schooling or education of the heart is possible. A school of the heart is understood as a threefold movement around experience of spiritual community, contemplative practice and receiving the transmission of Christian contemplative wisdom.

Throughout 2018, there are regular Saturday retreat days, which follow a pattern of spiritual practices working together for spiritual formation. These practices include spiritual conversation, lectio divina, which is in-depth listening together with sacred texts, and silent prayer. These retreats take place at the Rose Window Hermitage in North London. Please bring lunch to share with the community. A donation for the day, and the school, would be most welcome.

Other retreats and workshops during the year include –

• Three weekend residential retreats of silence, spiritual conversation and community.

• The annual Holy Island retreat from August 25th to Sept 1st, 2018.

• Three weekend retreats, Praying with the Spanish Mystics

• Holy Island Fundraising Pilgrim Walk

Creativity, artistic expression and spiritual transformation can flow freely from self-awareness, meditation and contemplative prayer. The work of the school of the heart is dedicated to offering resources, courses and companionship to nurture, guide and facilitate  our creative expression. During 2018 there are ongoing ‘Imagination and Creative Vision’ painting courses being offered each term. If you are interested in joining one of our painting courses please contact

If you are interested in spending a quiet day on your own in the peace and silence of the Hermitage, please contact us. Do let us know if you require spiritual direction during your quiet day. Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee provided.

   Contemplative School of the Heart Printable leaflet


Diary 2018

Feb 2-4

Weekend Retreat

Feb 9

Drawing & Painting

Feb 10

Retreat Day

Mar 17-18

Praying with the Spanish Mystics

Mar 9

Drawing & Painting

Mar 10

Retreat Day

Mar 23

Drawing & Painting

Apr 21 - 22

Fundraising Pilgrim Walk

Apr 27

Drawing & Painting

May 11

Drawing & Painting

May 12

Retreat Day

May 25 - 28

Weekend Retreat

Jun 1

Drawing & Painting

Jun 9

Retreat Day

Jun 22

Drawing & Painting

Jul 6

Drawing & Painting

Jul 7-8

Praying with the Spanish Mystics

Aug 25- Sep 1

Holy Isle Retreat

Sep 15

Retreat Day

Oct 6

Retreat Day

Oct 19-21

Weekend Retreat

Nov 3

Retreat Day

Nov 17-18

Praying with the Spanish Mystics

Dec 1

Retreat Day



Rose Window

Saturday Retreats at the Hermitage in 2018

Exploring Christian Contemplative
Wisdom for Contemporary Living

These monthly Saturday retreats follow a threefold movement around experience of spiritual community, contemplative practice and lectio divina from the writings of the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. Please bring lunch to share.
Donations welcome.

Saturday February 10th, March 10th,
May 12th, June 9th,
September 15th, October 6th,
November 3rd, December 1st

from 10.30am to 4pm at
The Rose Window Hermitage,
North London

Booking at 020 8 451 5255, 07527 993 696 or




St John of the Cross
Icon by Ann Chapin

School of the Heart weekend retreats

These weekend retreats are in the spirit and rhythm of, and a preparation for, the longer Holy Island retreat in August, as we gather together in community, silent prayer, lectio divina and spiritual friendship around writings from Spanish, English and Cistercian saints and mystics.

Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th February
Friday 25th – Monday 28th May
Friday 19th – Sunday 21st October

at Mount St Bernard Cistercian Abbey,
Coalville, Leicestershire. LE67 5UL

Booking at 0208 4515255 or




St Molaise

Abiding in the Wisdom of Love
At the Centre for World Peace and Health
Holy Island, Scotland

August 25th – Sept 1st, 2018

This seven day retreat is being offered to gather together in prayer and spiritual friendship on this ancient, beautiful and sacred island. Each day we will meet for silent prayer, Holy Communion, lectio divina, chanting and spiritual conversation around Christian mystical writings that illuminate the deepest call on our life. There will also be opportunities for conscious work in the garden, walking meditation and a pilgrimage to the cave of St Molaise.

Julienne McLean, Judy Barber, Revd Michael Gartland, and Roger Ferguson

   Printable leaflet

Booking at




St John of the Cross

Praying with the Spanish Mystics

Three weekend retreats of teaching, creative reading and silent prayer with writings from the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. Please bring your lunch to share.

March 17 - 18th, July 7-8th, Nov 17-18th, 2018

Julienne McLean, Sister Melanie Kingston, Judy Barber
at the House of Prayer, 35 Seymour Road
East Molesey, Surrey KT8 0PB

Booking at 020 8 941 2313 or




Holy Isle

Holy Island Fundraising Pilgrim Walk

Saturday 21st to Sunday 22nd April, 2018

We are organising a two day walking pilgrimage along the North Downs way to raise funds to purchase new chairs, more suitable for meditation and prayer, for the Peace Hall on Holy Island.

In the spirit of Holy Island, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche's vision of an interfaith centre and in memory of St Molaise, the pilgrim walk is also celebrating the deepening encounter, and friendship, between the spiritual traditions of East and West and the Christian and Buddhist monasteries/convents in the United Kingdom.

If you would like to join the fundraising walk, or sponsor a pilgrim, please contact Susanna on 07531 474700, Julienne on 07527 993696 or




Imagination and Creative Vision
Drawing and Painting courses

Spring, summer and autumn courses during 2017 (each course comprises four day workshops on Fridays)
from 10.30am - 4.30pm

Friday Feb 9th, March 9th and March 23rd, April 27th

Friday May 11th, June 1st and 22nd, July 6th

Autumn painting course dates to be confirmed

Clare Barton-Harvey, Julienne McLean, Judy Barber

Prior Booking for painting courses is required at