The City in the morning

Fees

The fee for the course is approx. £1110 per year. Please contact us for details about the exact cost. We hope that no one is prevented from following the course through lack of money. Some assistance may be available from a small bursary fund.

Venue

The course is held at the London Centre for Spirituality. This is in St Edmund King and Martyr Church in Lombard Street. The entrance is through the bookshop. It is a short walk from Bank (exit 6) and Monument underground stations. Mainline stations, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Liverpool Street, are a short walk away. The Centre is also on a number of bus routes. A map of the area can be found at Multimap or Google Maps.

History of the Ignatian Spirituality Course (ISC)

In 1981, the Association for Promoting Retreats had a conference in Manchester during which Bishop Philip Goodrich asked Sister Elisabeth Smyth (Cenacle Sister) if she would think of setting up a course on Ignatian Spirituality that would be ecumenical. She agreed to do this if Fr. Christopher Lowe (Community of the Resurrection) worked with her.

This course began simply and slowly with a day once a month at the house of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Westminister. In 1986 the number of the participants had grown so we moved to Liddon House in South Audley Street. Now the course was fortnightly and a three year programme comprising a Foundation Year, Intermediate Year and Advanced year. Sister Winifred Morley, who had been giving workshops on Ignatian Spirituality to Anglicans for some years, took charge of the Foundation year and Sister Kathleen Lyons who was working with Elisabeth designed the second year theory which was a detailed study of the text of the Spiritual Exercises. Towards the end of the 1980s we moved to the All Saints Sisters house in Margaret Street, and so we became known to many as the Margaret Street Course. When they too had to move, we found a venue with the London Centre for Spirituality in Lombard St., whose director is Andrew Walker, who by this time was also a Director of the Ignatian course.

Every year we try to listen carefully to the feedback from our students and adapt the course in the light of what we feel to be valid and constructive. Always, we want what we do to be for the greater honour and glory of God. In 1994 Elisabeth became ill and subsequently died, and we wondered about the continuation of the course, since she had been such a charismatic leader. However, participants have continued to apply — indicating that there continues to be need for such a work.

The aim of the course has evolved over the years. Initially, we saw the goal of our work to prepare people to give the 30 day retreat, but it became clear that the need for this was less, as people could not afford or indeed have the time for such a long withdrawal from their work and home. Now we see our aim to help students to adapt the Spiritual Exercises to the many needs of people in today's world, continuing to work within the spirit of the Exercises to the greater glory of God.

Cenacle Charity No. 232928