From their fields of pastoral care, spirituality, social commentary and theology, our speakers will explore how the ageing process, often associated largely with physical decline, could serve as an opportunity f o r transformation, to become as John Main says “the person we were created to be”
Laurence Freeman, OSB
Fr Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk and the spiritual guide and Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation and travels widely as an international speaker and retreat leader.
Through The World Community for Christian Meditation, an ecumenical contemplative community, Fr Laurence continues the work of teaching Christian Meditation and restoring the contemplative as the essential and central dimension of Christian spirituality.
He is the author of many books and articles including Light Within, Selfless Self, Web of Silence, Common Ground, A Short Span of Days, and Beauty's Field: Seeing the World. He writes a quarterly spiritual letter for the World Community and publishes Daily Wisdom, a popular daily email of one of his photographs with a short text .He is also the editor of John Main’s works.
Fr Laurence has conducted dialogues and peace initiatives such as the historic “Way of Peace” with the Dalai Lama, and is active in inter-religious dialogue with leaders of other faiths. He encourages the teaching of Christian meditation to children and students, and the recovery of the contemplative wisdom in the Church and in society at large. He is the Director of Meditatio, the outreach of the community to the wider world and secular institutions
Sarah Bachelard is founding director of Benedictus Contemplative Church, a theologian, retreat leader and priest in Anglican Orders. She is a member of the World Community for Christian Meditation and an honorary research fellow at the Australian Catholic University. Sarah has led retreats and taught contemplative prayer nationally and internationally. She was Director of the John Main Centre for Meditation and Interfaith Dialogue at Georgetown University in 2006, and has also worked in the Senate Committee Office and parish ministry, as a chaplain with UnitingCare Ageing and as lecturer in theology at Charles Sturt University. Sarah is the author of Experiencing God in a Time of Crisis and Resurrection and Moral Imagination.
(MMin, BA, BTh, Dip Ed) is founding member of Benedictus Contemplative Church in Canberra. Over the past three and half decades Neil has worked as a youth minister, parish priest, theological educator, supervisor and aged care chaplain. Neil is a Circle of Trust® facilitator and mentor with the Center for Courage and Renewal. He is an experienced facilitator of reflective learning groups and is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on this topic at the University of Canberra. Neil is a pilgrim at heart; long distance walking he has discovered, like meditation, is a profoundly transformative practice.
For more details on the speakers and the programme please see