DOES THE JULIAN LENT COURSE 2021 HOLD A WORLD RECORD?
Having discovered that Norwich Cathedral was also planning an online Lent Course based on Sheila Upjohn’s ‘The Way of Julian of Norwich’, the Friends of Julian and Norwich Cathedral agreed to join forces.
Over 260 people from around the world have signed up for this Lent course.
At the first session, 183 screens brought well over 200 participants together from the UK, Europe, USA and Canada as well as someone getting up at 2:30am in Australia! Many of those participating were Friends of Julian. None of us dreamt that take-up would be so high! A recording of introduction from Sheila Upjohn in Australia set the course on its way. In the first session the Priest Director of the Julian Campus, Fr. Richard Stanton, guided us through Sheila’s first chapter, introducing the questions that were then discussed in the break-out groups. The opportunity followed to share key points before Biblical and Julian readings found in ‘The Way of Julian of Norwich,’ gave an opportunity for quiet reflection. This provided the formula for the rest of the course. Many appreciative comments have been received.
Huge thanks goes to Fr. Richard, the Dean of Norwich and other Norwich Cathedral and Diocesan staff who have worked to make this online event such a great success.
Sheila Upjohn has created a sure foundation for this Lent Course. Her style of writing follows in Julian’s footsteps, creating a text accessible to ordinary people, Julian’s ‘even Christians.’ This does not mean it is simple in content or lacking in challenge. The reader is charged with unpacking key themes in Julian’s Revelations. Sheila takes us on a path, exposing us to questions of prayer, the wholeness of God, sin, the fall, the devil and his works before bringing us to rest in the unconditional love and forgiveness of God.
If you were not able to join the Lent Course, do consider reading this new publication. You might wish to lead your own Lent Group next year.
Here is a comment from a participant: “The current Lenten course formed by the collaboration of Norwich Cathedral and The Friends of Julian of Norwich is a refreshing manner of focusing on the timeless words from Julian’s Shewings, helping to direct us to the The Way of the Cross, by means of the carefully crafted new book by Sheila Upjohn, The Way of Julian of Norwich.
As an English transplant to Texas, this aids me personally to remain a part of the community. Continents, oceans, centuries and pandemics have been transmorphed into the here and now for us, the Global Zoom-Agers. I am excited to see where the discussions take us over the next few weeks.”
Shirley Buxton, Chair of the Friends