I am an experienced retreat leader, liturgist and preacher. At the Ammerdown Centre link, I have led all the Quiet Days and developed a new retreat called Praying with Music (see below). I’m now being invited by outside organisations to lead retreats – see below for recent evaluations.
I am now working on the following projects:
- Waymarks of the Gospel, a new book of meditations based on the Gospel stories.
- Praying with Music, a book of meditations of the spiritual and emotional meanings of great music.
A sample of the feedback I’ve been getting:
19th April 2014: Easter Saturday Quiet Day, Chepstow Priory.
On behalf of the Parish of Chepstow, I should like to commend you for the Quiet Day which was organised and led by you at St. Mary’s Priory, Chepstow on Holy Saturday.
As feedback I should like to make the following observations about the day:
The ancient Priory Church had been prepared in advance in a way which lent itself well to the monastic history of the church. Stations were carefully situated throughout the building to give space and opportunities for prayer and reflection. The themes at each station led the participants on a journey around the central theme of the day ‘Called by Jesus’. These prayerful spaces were each accompanied by thought provoking visual aids to draw us into a theme for contemplation. They were placed in a way that created sacred spaces which were sensitive to the particular chosen areas of the church building.
The day allowed each person to choose how much or how little they wished to partici- pate in. However the high points of the day were the ‘Waymark’ talks which took place between the times for quiet reflection. Euan Tait has a special way of drawing you into a place of deep refection as he develops his theme throughout the day, allowing each per- son to reach their own level of contemplation.
The day was also complemented by an art workshop where Bible texts were chosen to create imaginative stations of the cross, which were then assembled and painted.
We all benefited from the way in which Euan led this Quiet Day on this most holy of days as we were drawn into the mystery of the Vigil of the Resurrection. He is without doubt the most sensitive and inspiring leader of a Retreat that I have ever encountered.
Our heartfelt thanks go to you from the Parish of Chepstow,
Yours in our Lord’s service,
Revd. Christopher Blanchard. Vicar of Chepstow
Exeter Cursillo Advent Quiet Day participants (December 2012):
Superb presentation at the right pace. Well written aims to meditation and thought. The soft, seated delivery is right as the subject dealt at times with emotive feelings…Excellent preparation & printed guidelines, spoke clearly, friendly and approachable…Offered the retreat as our own time – to do and join in or not. Relaxed and easy to talk to at the meeting time before starting. Pictures (or one) very helpful…Good pictorial helps. Talks on paper to take away. Gentle simple but incisive talks in lovely language. Gentle humour helpful. Advent song gorgeous. Euan’s joining as ‘one of us’ during the course meals etc much appreciated…Spoke clearly and slowly…Very well prepared. The materials are excellent and will be useful to think and meditate on over the Advent season. The pictures are inspirational and the questions thought provoking…Gave a lot of food for thought and time for reflection after each launchpad[talk]…I found the presentation helpful, prayerful, relaxing and meaningful… Speaking slowly and with conviction, making it all sound simple…Far exceeded my expectations, beautifully led and the right level and pace for me. I liked the handouts to refer to afterwards and will help me when I go home…Spoke slowly, was clear in his presentation, both verbal and visual. Material was useful during the day, also to take home when more time to study scripture. Session before lunch very helpful to me at the present time…Good quality presentation and materials.”
Quiet Day participants: 2012: “Well prepared and good material, created a very peaceful and prayerful atmosphere…A day of peace that feels like a week’s holiday…his initial welcome, introduction and explanation were excellent, so too the thoughtfulness and helpfulness of the Waymark contents. Euan’s spirituality shone through…gave choice for our own personal response, introduced the Reflections in his facilitating style which guided our private meditations. I found the Waymark format more meaningful for me…Euan was gentle and courteous, attentive to our every need. The day was profoundly spiritual…. good presentation- good questions, it makes one think and challenges us…made me feel at home, gave freedom/space, gave clear instructions, prepared thoroughly, challenged and reassured…inclusion of everyone…reflections very helpful, encouraged from notes to look at bible readings in a different way…day was well structured and had a narrative flow that kept my attention focussed, the questions were a real prompt to meditation. ..” 2013: Lent Quiet Day – “reflections well and deeply researched…very well written and presented material, well paced, thought provoking…generated a feeling of calm and inclusiveness.” Eastertide – “was very sensitive to the needs of the group, nurtured and fed the group, I found the material very helpful…clear, concise programme, inspirational notes…prepared an empathetic space and presence…made us feel relaxed and welcome. encouraged our freedom to be where we wanted to be and included us…led the day with encouragement, but without intruding…”
From participants at 2012 Easter retreat: “The musical contributions made by…Mark and Euan were really outstanding…please convey my gratitude and thanks to all the staff and particularly to Mark and Euan…”
Praying with Music participants: 27th October 2012 (Bach Mass in B Minor): “Presented, explained and interpreted the music in a way which enriched my experience of the Eucharist, and made it even more meaningful. Also, rest for a weary soul. Thank you so much!…Good presentation, relaxed. Enthused, provided fresh insight…wonderful insights, cheerful, welcoming, warm…excellent combination of music itself, meditation and reflection, all of it really came from the heart…attention to detail. Everything from the heart and deeply felt…Wonderful! The printed material is excellent both for now and the future…” 16th March 2012 (Bach Passions): “presented the course very well, structure of course is excellent, good mix of meditation, music, quiet time, looking forward to similar courses…wonderful meditations, very welcoming, very centred on God’s love for us… made us feel comfortable (physically and mentally). Very well prepared…”
St. Bartholemew’s, Wootton Basset: “Thank you for all your wonderful prayers.”