Friday, 12 February 2010

Tom Cullinan is coming to Cheltenham

A monk/priest for fifty years, Fr. Tom Cullinan is one of those rare people who walks the talk. I visited him last May in his ashram outside Liverpool, our first encounter for perhaps thirty years. He has no phone or email, so all correspondence is by postcard (recycled). "Come before 12," he wrote, "as that's when we have mass."

His directions were drawn precisely, though the turning off the main road seemed unpromising - it was much overgrown. About six of us worshipped together, sitting on the floor mainly. It was intensely prayerful. Then he led me upstairs to his kitchen, where we ate a delicious home-made soup with bread (also home-made): whilst we ate, he talked about a million subjects and picked the remains of my legal brain. A stimulating session indeed! At 2.30 prompt, I was left in no doubt that the time had come to depart. He had (physical) work to do.

Next Friday, 19th February, he is coming to stay. I offered to collect him from Cheltenham station, but no. "I shall bring my bike - just send directions." At 7pm, he will celebrate mass in St Gregory's Church, and following that he will speak to anyone who cares to listen in The Old Priory, next door, on the theme: "Learning to tread lightly in God's planet".

The author of several seminal books - 'If the Eye be Sound', 'The Passion of Political Love', 'Presence' etc. - Tom's words are always well-weighed: don't miss it if you are anywhere nearby!

1 comment:

Arthur Champion said...

Thank you for organising last night's meeting and giving us the opportunity to learn from such an outstanding person. His talk was full of insights and anecdotes. I liked the way he moved easily from the Bible onto science as well as church tradition. We will be unpacking Tom's talk in the CofEs Greenway Benefice.