you have made us for yourself
and our hearts are restless
'till they find their rest in you.'
So wrote St. Augustine in c.397. We all experience this sense of restlessness even though we may not express it in those words. We are filled with hopes and fears, passions and prejudices, powerful emotions and desires and can become confused by them. As Henry Thoreau remarked - 'Most people live lives of quiet desperation.'
Sometimes it can be hard to understand all the movements that occur within us - and, at times, that deeper sense of the desire for something beyond ourselves. It is this longing that people have realised as a yearning for at-oneness with God, the 'ground of all being' which has been the inspiration for poets and artists, mystics and musicians in every culture.
The following pages reflect aspects of my own journey and contain insights I have found of help. For those who recognise a need to share their restlessness with another there is information about the ministry of Spiritual Direction as well as the Supervision of Spiritual Directors, links to other websites and a page of poems, reflections and quotation. I have also included a page for those seeking to have their Civil Partnerships celebrated and whose love, at present, cannot be affirmed in many of our churches.
Introducing John-Francis Friendship
I am a priest, Spiritual Director and Supervisor. For twenty-five years I was a member of the Anglican Society of St. Francis (SSF) before becoming Rector of the parish of St. Andrew, Romford. In 2011 I retired as a parish priest and now live on Shooters Hill in south east London.
Whilst the Franciscan charism was deeply formative I have also been influenced by Benedictine, Carmelite and Ignatian spiritualities. After leaving the Franciscans I trained on the Ignatian Spirituality Course at the London Centre for Spirituality. Subsequently I became a tutor on the London Course in Spiritual Direction where I work with the Second Year team. More recently I developed a course in Exploring Christian Spirituality which runs for six months (January through June).
Together with my partner (who is a Costume Designer) I live in south east London where I now exercise a ministry of Spiritual Direction (as well as seeing people at the London Centre for Spirituality). I am also available for Pastoral Supervision and priestly ministry.
My interests are varied - from classical music and jazz to art in all its forms. I enjoy reading and walking - especially in Oxleas Woods, which are close to where I live. In the past I developed an interest in the Middle East and travelled widely in Egypt where I spent time exploring its Christian heritage and became involved with the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Beni Suef as well as visiting many of the country's monastic sites. For almost ten years I led pilgrimages to both Egypt and the Holy Land. I now focus into accompanying people in their personal pilgrimage through life.
You are welcome to email me: jff2209(at)yahoo.com
1976 - 2002: Member of the Society of St. Francis
1994 - 1997: Novice Guardian SSF
1997 - 2000: General Secretary SSF
2001 - 2011: Rector of the Parish of St. Andrew
2000 - 2002: Ignatian Spirituality Course
2002 - present: Tutor on the London Course in Spiritual Direction
2005: Supervision Skills for Spiritual Directors
2009: Accredited member of the Association of Pastoral Supervisors and Educators (APSE)
2011/12: Course in Developing Direction
2012: Tutor on 'Exploring Christian Spirituality'
|The Restless Heart||