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August 2022

Welcome to our August newsletter. 

On the programme this month, in her Zoom session Winters in the World, Dr Eleanor Parker explores how Anglo-Saxon writers thought about the yearly journey through the seasons – from midwinter to midsummer, spring to harvest – and considers the profound relationship they saw between human life and the rhythms of nature (more details below). Meanwhile, Rev. Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg concludes her inspiring 3-session course on using the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to envision the levels of the soul. There is still time to enrol for Marie-Elsa’s third session on 2nd August and receive catch-up recordings of the first two sessions. 

In September in Transformation through Turmoil Dr Steve Taylor, senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University and past chair of the Transpersonal Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society considers the spontaneous spiritual awakening that can occur to a soul in troubled times. 

Also in September Sally and Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud offer a very special chance to come to Fintry for their residential Mindfulness & Compassion weekend (details below).
Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year
with Dr Eleanor Parker 
Tuesday 23rd August, 18.00-19.15

Transformation through Turmoil
with Dr Steve Taylor
Saturday 3rd September, 18.30-19.45

Mindfulness & Compassion Residential Retreat
with Jean-Paul and Dr Sally Jeanrenaud
Friday 9th - Sunday 11th September
To book these and future events visit

Report back on July

In July we were visited by 25 members of The Arts & Crafts Movement in Surrey.  Julie Parker gave a talk on the history of Fintry, followed by a tour of the house, and tea and homemade cake.

The members of the group were excited to see many of the architectural features of the building, both inside and out, and were pleased to share their knowledge with us.

The ACMS description of Fintry says that its most striking feature has to be ‘the soaring individualist chimney design’. So look upwards next time you visit!

We also welcomed two group bookings in July: ‘Mindful Living Retreats’ with Ethan Pollock and Lucy Chan and also ‘Yoga and Meditation’ with Divya Kohli.

Mindfulness & Compassion Retreat    9 - 11 September 2022

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.”
                                                                                 Jack Kornfield

People have always faced challenging times. When living with fear, uncertainty, self-doubt, loneliness, exhaustion or loss, we need to find ways to take care of ourselves, and others, and learning to be kind to ourselves and the wider world through compassion practices is key to transforming that suffering.

Such practices also have a number of health and well-being benefits and help balance body, heart, mind, and will.

This Retreat led by Sally and Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud includes guided meditation sessions, periods of silence, time for relaxation on the beautiful grounds, optional guided walks, and communal vegetarian meals, and so will provide the perfect opportunity to reconnect to self, others and Nature.

Read more about the retreat here

Calendar Note: Ab Ithel (John Williams), bardic writer, (27th August)

John Williams (Ab Ithel) was born in Llangynhafal, Denbighshire, Wales on 7th April 1811 and died on 27th August 1862. A dedicated Anglican priest and an enthusiastic proponent of Welsh tradition, language and folklore, Williams wrote under the name ‘Ab Ithel’, and was responsible for a number of translations, journals and editions of Welsh works. He is best known for Barddas, a work largely based on the manuscripts of Iolo Morganwyg, published in two volumes in 1862 and 1874 respectively.     

Initially accepted as both ancient and authentic, Barddas exerted a great influence and was widely quoted and cited. It later became rejected completely as having been the fabrication of Morganwyg, but later scholarship suggests that Barddas actually does have a foundation in earlier Welsh tradition.  

Whether based entirely on ancient Welsh lore or partially derived from sources more modern, Barddas has appealed to a great number of seekers who have found its precepts and counsels to be an inspiring source of wisdom.

Three places in which there will be most of God: where there is most of what will love Him; most of what will seek Him; and least of self.

There are three things, and God is found where they are looked for: mercy; truth; and peace.
-    RKC

Image: said to be Ab Ithel 

Recommendation: Winters in the World

Many of the festivals celebrated in the United Kingdom today have their roots in the Anglo-Saxon period. In her latest work Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year, Eleanor Parker traces their surprising history and unearths long-forgotten traditions. 

The book has been described as a beautifully observed journey through the cycle of the year in Anglo-Saxon England, exploring the festivals, customs, and traditions linked to the different seasons, drawing on a wide variety of source material, including poetry, histories, and religious literature. 

Dr Eleanor Parker, who is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford, also writes a regular column for History Today magazine. Her previous books include Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England (2018), and Conquered: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England (2022). Her Zoom session on Winters in the World is on Tuesday 23rd August 2022.
Malcolm Guite, life fellow of Girton College, Cambridge, also recommends her work here:

Integral Wisdom

A reminder that Myth, Mind and Magic, an engaging new course led by Murray Morison, is available on the Trust online learning platform 'Integral Wisdom'.

Integral Wisdom courses are complementary to the existing offerings by the Fintry Trust and draw upon the world’s wisdom traditions to explore timeless Ideas and Ideals and their relevance in today’s world. The platform is open to seekers from all walks of life and will offer a series of courses, engaging talks, guided meditations and self-assessments uploaded throughout the year and beyond, which you can watch in your own time. 

To learn more and sign up please visit

We also welcome you to follow Integral Wisdom online at:
Twitter: @Integral_Wisdom
Instagram: @IntegralWisdom

More Information

For details of the programme of events, please contact the Administrator by email.

To enquire about hiring Fintry for a residential retreat, or to book the studio for a regular class, please enquire by email.

For a listing of upcoming retreats and Studio events organised by independent hirers, being held at Fintry you'll find a listing here .

Any contributions/suggestions/questions regarding the content of this newsletter, please contact the Manager.

And if you've missed a newsletter, find them all on the News page of our website.
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