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Stones of Witness

16th August, 4:00 pm to 20th August, 9:30 am


Roger Willson

We can discover so much from our church buildings but what do most of us really notice or learn when we visit them? ‘Church Going’, as the poet Philip Larkin puts it, can teach us about the history of the Christian faith in this country, about the changing use of sacred space through the centuries as reflected in architecture and furnishings, about the use of the decorative arts in buildings of faith, about the place of churches in their local landscape and community and in national history.

This part holiday/part retreat will take us on a journey to churches in the immediate area around Launde Abbey where we’ll discover a wealth of interesting buildings covering every period from Norman to Victorian and beyond, set in beautiful countryside, with time also for poetry, music and silence. There will also be evening talks on ‘how to read churches’ as well as the opportunity to join in the daily rhythm of worship in the chapel at Launde with time to relax in the beautiful grounds of the abbey and to enjoy its hospitality.

Roger read history at Cambridge in the 1960s and had a career in teaching History at all levels. He has had a passion for churches, their architecture, setting, fittings and decorative arts since teenage years growing up in Kent. Since retiring from Loughborough Grammar School in 2002, he has made a point of travelling to most parts of this country studying buildings and trying to encourage others to ‘go and have a look for themselves’ through visits, tours, study days and lecture courses both for his parish, the Leicester Diocese and Historic Churches Trust, and through the U3A. He now attends All Saints Church in Loughborough and is a member of the Anglican Third Order of the Society of St Francis.

We want all our guests to be safe and secure when visiting Launde during the current public health situation. For details of our comprehensive Keeping You Safe programme click here.

Early bird price: £440 if booked before 16 June 2021.

Yes, I’d like to book a place on the Stones of Witness Retreat.


    16th August, 4:00 pm
    20th August, 9:30 am
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