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July 2022

Welcome to our July newsletter. 

First, a word about the very special image above: it is of a 1910 watercolour painting of Fintry entitled ‘Sandhills, Witley, Surrey, Terrace Front’ signed by the artist, Alexander Robert Hennell, who, significantly, was also the architect who designed Fintry. 
On the far right of the painting can be seen the old stables, demolished in the 1950’s in order to build the garage and Flat above, so our head gardener David Mattingley recalls. The foreman on the site when the house itself was built was in fact Walter Mattingley, great-grandfather to David and to our cook Linda Kemp. 
A.R.Hennell must have taken the painting with him when he later emigrated to the United States, which is where Denise Todd of The Arts & Crafts Movement in Surrey located it. Thanks are due to her for alerting us to its existence, and to the donor who generously bought it on behalf of the Trust. The Arts & Crafts Movement in Surrey group will be visiting Fintry on 27th July for a talk, tour and tea.
On 22nd June, in the Lounge at Fintry, we unpacked the painting for the first time (audio recording), brought in person from America. So now, 112 years after the architect-artist stood and painted the scene, his work returns to Fintry, where it started life!
On the Zoom programme this month we have Transfiguration with William Meader, influential and respected teacher of esoteric philosophy, and Rev. Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg begins a 3-session course on using the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to explore the levels of the soul. Then in August 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. Eleanor can also be heard discussing the Norman Conquest and its impact on the generation who lived through it, on Radio 3's Free Thinking at 10 pm Tuesday 5th July.

In September Sally and Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud offer a very special chance to come to Fintry for their Mindfulness & Compassion weekend (details below).
Transfiguration: The Portal to Enlightenment
with William Meader
Friday 15th July, 19.00-20.15

Thomas Traherne Reading Group
with David Buresh and Julie Parker
Sunday 17th July, 16.00-17.15

Anatomy of the Soul
with Reverend Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg 
Tuesday 19th & 26th July & 2nd August, 18.00-19.15

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, 18.00-19.15

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 June

June was another busy month for the Trust, with lots of people being involved one way or another. In addition to a very full Zoom programme, we held our second Take a Breath Open Day. Options on offer included a session of ‘Mindful Drawing’ with teacher and artist Caroline Homfray. In the afternoon, in collaboration with the publisher Shepheard Walwyn, we held the launch of Dr Edi Bilimoria’s impressive work Unfolding Consciousness.

A number of fellow scientists and mathematicians attended the launch in person, while another 30 people participated on Zoom, all of whom expressed their thanks and appreciation for the presentation.  Dr Bilimoria wrote to say “It was my pleasure, and indeed an honour to have launched Unfolding Consciousness at Fintry; THANK YOU to you and the staff for all your efforts and major contribution to the event”. With the kind agreement of Dr Bilimoria, a recording of his presentation is now available for sale on the Trust website.

That same weekend we welcomed two visitors to the Library: composer Andrew Baker was working on the philosopher Peter Sterry, and Anne McCauley, Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art at Princeton University, was researching books which had belonged to Alvin Langdon Coburn. They each found it a delightful and rewarding weekend.

Art and Creativity

Coming to Fintry in the autumn, we are offering you a chance to work alongside local artists, uncover your creative spirit and expand your own well-being through the healing powers of art-making. 

Here is a flavour of what may come:- 
  • creative journals - building up a collection of drawings, paintings, poems, collages and words that express your own responses to the year of plants at Fintry - a personal plant journal.
  • sewing circle - seeing the magic of recycling, upcycling and repurposing textiles - sharing your own stitching skills with the circle, collaborating on ideas and making personalised pieces for your home and wardrobe.
  • life drawing - learning the true art of looking accurately and representing the figure with expert guidance and creating a growing collection of figure drawings and paintings.

Watch the newsletter for dates coming soon. We would love to welcome you on this new venture into creative expression!

Sonia Percival, artist/teacher

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 in 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: Euclid, mathematician and Platonist (30th July)

Euclid (Eὐkleίdhς) was a Greek mathematician who lived from about 325 B.C. to 250 B.C., but what little biographical information we have about his life derives mainly from authors who lived centuries later. Pappus, an Alexandrian mathematical commentator, tells us that Euclid taught mathematics in Alexandria, and that he was a kind, honest and modest man. Proclus records that he lived in the time of Ptolemy I, who succeeded Alexander the Great as ruler of Egypt, and that he ‘belonged to the Platonic sect and was at home in this philosophy’.        

While Euclid wrote other works, he is best known for his Elements, which has been the standard work on elementary mathematics for over two thousand years and the subject of a number of commentaries, including those of the Neoplatonic philosophers Simplicius and Proclus.

A point is that which has no parts.
(Euclid, Elements I: Definition 1) 

The point, because of its partlessness, has been primarily associated with the monad. 
(Proclus, Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s Elements 97)

A line is length without breadth.
(Euclid, Elements I: Definition 2)    

The line owes its being to the point, which, though without parts, is the cause of the existence of all divisible things. 

The line is one-dimensional, the surface two-dimensional, and the solid three-dimensional; hence Aristotle says that body comes to completion with the number three.  
(Proclus, Commentary on the First Book of Euclid’s Elements 97)
-    RKC

Image: 19th-century statue of Euclid by Joseph Durham in The Museum of Natural History, University of Oxford 

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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