Wholeness, vulnerability and the margins

The margins contain what is excluded from the centre. The margins can be a place of vulnerability – especially for those who feel marginalised and are not there by choice. This process aims to increase our awareness of the margins – whether at the level of individuals, organisations, communities or society as a whole. Session can involve ‘marginal walks’ (exploring margins in the world around us), ‘marginal moments’ (exploring the margins in the lives of well known people), ‘marginal circles’ (in which we experience the margins) and the gifts of the margins (in which we look at what we receive from the margins). A Margins Museum includes music, films, poetry, books and quotes. By increasing awareness of what is in our margins – both within and outside ourselves – we can begin to become more whole. Further details are at SpiritoftheMargins.org

Chris Bemrose (right) undertaking a 'marginal walk' with Jean Vanier (Founder of L'Arche and Templeton Foundation Prize winner 2015)

Chris Bemrose (right) undertaking a ‘marginal walk’ with the late Jean Vanier (Founder of L’Arche and Templeton Foundation Prize winner 2015).  A personal tribute to Jean Vanier can be seen here 

Comments received:

‘A really positive experience which opened up how – and where – people saw the margins. The way you introduced the theme of God on the margins was particularly powerful and not one I will readily forget.’  St. Giles & St. George Church, Ashtead

‘Nourishing…inspiring…tremendous sense of unity…like an Act of Worship…a revelation…paradoxical..warm and welcoming…insightful’. Meditatio, London.

‘I went away ” bothered and blessed” – aware of my capacity for avoidance and gratitude for my blessings and aware I had been in a sacred space too…’ House of Prayer, Surrey.

‘Thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from the day and the way it was led.’ House of Prayer, Surrey.

‘It made me appreciate how interesting and intellectually challenging the margins are.’ Festival of Social Sculpture, Oxford.

‘I valued having the time and space for exploring this subject…there was a wonderful timeless quality to my experiences.’ Festival of Social Sculpture Festival, Oxford.

‘…a chance to reflect widely on issues of the soul. A lot of self-development is goal-orientated, but this workshop was non-pressured and ‘held’ in a secure way by the group leaders.’ Runcton Manor, West Sussex.

‘It was really good to meet a group of people who are obviously careful explorers of what it means to be spiritual in a Christian context, and I experienced a sense of relief that my personal struggles with faith can also find a home in a long tradition.’ Runcton Manor, West Sussex.