Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Thanks

To be effective, any ministry needs to be underpinned by prayer, and at the close of the year I am particularly aware of all who have faithly supported me in this way. Thank you to you all - your prayers have power.

I also give thanks for the growing number of donations towards the costs of my New Zealand scholarship trip. From a mix of offerings, ranging from a few coppers to cheques large and small, the Lord is putting in place the necessary provision. Again, thank you to you all - may the Lord bless each one of you, as you are blessing me.

A powerful Advent retreat, enhanced by a wonderful mix of people, has set the scene for Christmas and brought my retreat-leading to a close for now. I have led an extraordinary number of events this year and have hardly stopped to draw breath. It has been both challenging and exhausting, but at the same time hugely rewarding. I feel as if I have found the work that I was always meant to do.

But now it's time to stop and take some long overdue sabbath time ... precious space in which to write, reflect and take stock. I look forward enormously to the opportunities that lie ahead of me in New Zealand. Please pray for me as I prepare to fly out at the end of January.

And in the meantime, may you all enjoy a peaceful and joyous Christmas.

I have recently posted some new Christmas materials on my Poetry Page, and you can view them here. Enjoy ...

Have a very special Christmas!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Iona Restoration

With plans for my New Zealand trip moving forward in leaps and bounds I have been grateful of some deeply restorative quiet time on Iona. Give thanks for the ability of peaceful, prayer-soaked environments to restore and to heal.

I now know that I will be travelling out to New Zealand on January 31st, and returning to this country on June 1st. With Christmas in between, this feels quite close and there is much to plan. I am currently seeking support to help with the £1,000 air fare. Please pray for the provision of this financial help. If you would like to contribute, even in a small way, towards the cost of this ticket I would be pleased to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I now turn my attention to preparing to participate in the ArtServe conference at the end of this month, and then a week later I shall be delivering two Quiet Days for folks in ministry in the Barmouth area. Please pray for both of these events.

My recent Quiet Day for the John Young Foundation was a richly blessed time, and the Stewardship training that I attended was both very helpful and deeply challenging.

A busy pre-Christmas season lies ahead of me. Please pray that the demands on me will not overwhelm.

As always, thank you for your love and prayer support.

May the Lord bless you.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

New Zealand

I am delighted to be able to share the great news that I have been invited to take up a residential scholarship at the Vaughan Park Retreat Centre in New Zealand. This will be for a 3 month period sometime in 2010 and I shall be undertaking a project to

develop contemporary holistic liturgies that facilitate healing and growth within ecumenical retreat groups

The intention is that I shall aim to produce two books: a book of liturgies and an accompanying leader's handbook.

I am thrilled and really excited to have this opportunity. Thank you so much for all your prayers.

On a rather more mundane front, my chosen 'down time' has been very restorative and helpful. I shall be shortly be commencing a few autumn and winter events, starting with 'Abide in Me' at Shallowford House in mid-September. Please pray for blessings through these coming events.

I hope that you have all enjoyed the summer period. May the Lord bless you as we move into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Mark 6.31

Thank you all for your support, both prayerful and financial. My recent events have gone very well and been times of great blessing.

Applications for the New Zealand sabbatical will be considered at the end of August. Please pray for a successful outcome to my application - this would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

I have recently led two Quiet Days based on Mark 6.31 -

Come away with me, by yourselves, to a quiet place
and get some rest.

and I've been aware for some time that this is very much what the Lord is saying to me.

Having lived out my life and ministry at a demanding pace over the last couple of years, a very great tiredness has accumulated. So, with much prompting from both friends and Godly strangers, I am carving out a necessary space over the summer in which to slow down the pace, reflect and restore myself. Unfortunately this has meant the need for a decision to cancel the Llangasty summer retreat. My apologies to all those who are disappointed by this, but I hope to be able to offer the event again at a future time and I know that my ministry will be much the richer for taking this quiet time.

I would therefore value your prayers at this time for restoration and renewal, and for motivation as I seek to improve my overall health.

Thank you.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Off I Go Again!

Thank you for your prayers, dear friends - please keep them coming.

I am 'on the road' again tomorrow, for a bit of a round trip.

Firstly, I'm off to Llangasty for the annual conference of the Order of Jacob's Well, an ecumenical healing order that's doing wonderful, amazing work. There is an eleventh hour possibility that the keynote speaker, Roy Godwin, may have to withdraw due to family ill-health and I was asked a couple of days ago if I would help to stand in for him. There's been no time in my diary to prepare for this, so I'd really value your prayers. Please pray too for full and complete healing for Roy's father-in-law who has suffered a stroke. And pray for lots of healing throughout the conference as we share and learn and minister together.

After the conference I'm hoping to have some quiet writing time whilst staying with some dear Christian friends in Wales. I'm pretty tired, so please pray for rest, renewal and inspiration. Please pray for Ken & Mari too, who've kindly offered to accommodate this far-from-home author! Pray that God will bless them as they are blessing me.

Then I'm moving on to Hereford to deliver a 'Deeper Into God' day for a group of ministers in that area. Please pray for real healing and refreshment for this group of people, some of whom work under great stress.

I'm starting to feel as if I'm always on the move at the moment and some 'down time' would be great, but it's a real privilege to do this work and to see people blessed. The weekend at Twydall was very successful, so thank you for your prayers. Pentecost joy was much in evidence on the Sunday and in the reflective silence of the Saturday hearts were touched in deep ways.

May you all be blessed by this taste of summer we're experiencing at the moment. Enjoy it!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Spirit Outpoured

Thank you for your prayers, dear friends.

After a wonderfully refreshing break with friends in Northumberland, I turn my attention now to a very busy diary.

This weekend I'm off to Twydall in Kent to lead a Quiet Day for Holy Trinity church and to participate in their Pentecost celebrations on the Sunday. Please pray for a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this special weekend. It has a been a significant challenge preparing this, but I sense that God will bless it.

After that, I'll be attending the Association of Christian Writers conference at High Leigh in Hoddesdon, where I hope that God will reveal new doorways into publishing. Unfortunately BRF, DLT & SPCK have all declined my manuscript proposals - very disappointing, but I shall keep searching. Wild Goose are still considering the Christmas book. Please keep praying ...

Following that, it's just one week at home then down to Wales.

I feel as if I'm constantly unpacking and repacking at the moment and am overall pretty tired. Your prayers for energy and strength 'to keep on keeping on' would be much appreciated.

Thank you! Happy Pentecost!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Prayers Please

Sometimes God just taps me on the shoulder and says 'Get this done, Pat'.

So this week has seen me having a change of plan. I abandoned my plans to participate in the retreats by Simon Small and Tony Horsfall in order to give myself time and space to pro-actively pursue publishing options. And I would now value your prayers.

I have approached three publishers with proposals:

BRF - to publish 'A Deeper Love', a new book of meditations aimed at leading people into contemplative stillness.

Wild Goose Publications - to publish 'The Saviour in the Straw', a new book of meditations for Advent.

Darton, Longman & Todd - to take over, print & market my existing three titles.

Please pray
for a successful outcome to these publishing negotiations.

I find the leg-work and paperwork associated with getting things into print far harder than the original creative writing and my ministry has kept me very busy since Christmas, so I'm now really looking forward to some quality sabbath time in the Holy Island area in a couple of weeks time. Please pray for much needed rest, relaxation and renewal. And please pray for my hosts, Clare & Jan.

As always, thank you for your on-going prayer support, which underpins all I do. The Presteigne event went very well and Holy Week was an amazingly creative and powerful time: you can read some of my new Easter writing here.

And a huge thank you to those of you who have supported me financially this year: my year-end accounts revealed that your giving has almost exactly met my ministry shortfall. When the figures match up so closely you just know that God's got a hand in it somewhere ... Thank you.

My application for study time in New Zealand is now with the people who've agreed to write references. Please pray for them as they do this.

May God bless you all - I so value your friendship and support.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Engaging with Easter

First the bad news ... being a little too enthusiastic with a veggie slicing tool, I have sliced the top of my thumb off today - so I now have my other thumb strapped up! Please pray for rapid healing! And please pray that I won't have to cancel any engagements.

That apart, after going gently for a couple of weeks, I am now refreshed and ready to move forward again.

Firstly, I will be travelling down to Presteigne to lead 'He Chose The Nails' on April 4th. If you live near there and want to join in with that do please email me. The day will take place in a family home which used to be a pub - something of a first for me! Please pray for the success of this event.

Following on from that I hope to have a time of 'receiving', to balance out all that I have given out recently. I plan to have a quietly reflective Easter, dipping in to several local events that promise to be good. Please pray for insights, inspiration and a deepening knowledge of the cross during Holy Week.

I have added a few new Easter poems to my Poetry Page. I am hoping to write more in the coming weeks ...

And finally, some exciting news! An opportunity exists to take a 3-month studying and writing sabbatical (in 2010) at a retreat house in New Zealand and I have decided to apply. I'll be asking you to pray for the success of that application in due course, but, for now, please would you pray for those kind folks who have agreed to write references to support my application.

Thank you everyone.

May you enjoy a blessed, fruitful and healing Easter.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sabbath Time

After five weeks of retreat leading and demanding ministry it's good to be home again for a while.

Thank you all for your prayer support and encouragement whilst I have been away. In the times when I was 'running on empty', prayer empowered me amazingly. In spite of my tiredness and vulnerabilities, God worked through me. It was a huge priviledge to see people take positive steps along their journey of inner healing, and in some cases receive the touch of physical healing.

The first ever residential retreat offered by Wisdom House went well and was a joy to lead. After that, the majority of my time away, at Green Pastures, was spent in pastoral listening and prayer ministry, and in the leading of chapel times and Quiet Days. This was challenging work, but blessed me enormously in the process.

I shall now take a couple of weeks to gently recover and re-focus, before turning my attention to my wider ministry of retreat leading and writing. I'll post more prayer news after this short break.

Please pray for restoration and renewal during this time. Perhaps you would also pray for those whom I have been alongside during the last month - pray that the work begun in them would be sustained and strengthened. And pray for the important work of Green Pastures and Wisdom House.

God bless you all - spring is a great season in which to receive renewal from the Lord.


Monday, 2 February 2009

Prayers Please

Your prayers would be valued, dear friends, as I prepare to depart for five weeks down in Hampshire and Dorset.

I shall be leading at retreat at Wisdom House in Romsey, then moving on to Green Pastures, near Poole. At Green Pastures I'll be leading Quiet Days and the regular rhythm of worship, and offering pastoral support to guests, many of whom arrive at that retreat house at a time of very real need in their life. It is challenging and demanding work, and prayer is essential to underpin it.

Both houses are experiencing financial challenges, and my work is largely voluntary, but who can put a price tag on helping those in need? Those of you who are kind enough to support me are very much enabling my ministry and since I stepped out in faith there has always 'been enough'. Thank you to you all.

Please pray for safe travelling, good health, inspiration and empathy ... and for the grace and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

And may God bless each one of you and hold you in HIs care.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

A New Venture and a Busy Schedule

Greetings to you all. I pray that 2009 will be a year of growth and healing, hope and expectation for us all, in spite of the difficult times that we live in.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support. Happily, I have made a good recovery from my injuries and am finally getting back to normal.

The first draft of a Christmas manuscript is now complete! So I'm currently exploring possibilities for publishers for two manuscripts, as well as someone who is willing to take on my existing three titles when Inspire ceases trading in August. Please pray for this.

And I'm starting out on a new venture. Many creative Christians generously make their work freely available over the web - and I've decided to join them. I would much prefer that my writing be used in helpful ways than that it sit tucked away in some hidden corner of a microchip inside my laptop. So, I have decided to regularly post some of my poetry here. There are only 3 poems so far, but I plan to post more on a regular basis. Please do pass this news on to anyone who might find these materials helpful.

Retreat leading is taking off ... I am inundated with requests and my diary for the coming year is nearly full. I am deeply humbled and very heartened by this. Please pray that I'll be enabled to create a good balance between retreat leading and quiet renewal time in the months ahead.

Please pray too for all the preparations that lie ahead of me before I depart for Dorset in just over two weeks time. And pray that I'll be able to maintain and improve my health this year.

Finally, I am hugely excited by all the possibilities that Christ is opening up in my life. This quote, from the song Light of my Life, is my prayer for the coming year:

Light of my life

Love of my heart

Be Lord in everything.

Tre Luci

May it be so ... for all of us ...