The Abbey Summer School

1 – 3 June, 2017
Newhaven Church
Edinburgh, Scotland
7 Craighall Road, Newhaven EH6 4ND



Questions? We'd love to chat!

The Abbey Summer School
Organising Committee
112 East Trinity Road, Edinburgh, UK EH5 3PD

THE Abbey Summer School Schedule 2017

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Afternoons at the Abbey are all about putting flesh on the richness of what we learn in the mornings – moving from our heads down to our hands and feet. Our workshops are organised into five 'streams' – Pilgrimage, Ordinary Life, Art, Spirituality, and Prayer/Bible Study – and each day you will be able to attend a workshop from one of these streams that will deepen your learning.

Below are descriptions of several workshops that will be offered, categorised by stream:


Exploring Job: A Filmmaking and Theology Workshop, with Graham Pritz-Bennett (Friday)

In this workshop, participants will be involved in filming three quick scenes based on Job's conversations with his friends using different styles and techniques, in order to show how the medium of film and its varying methods can offer different theological insights into the biblical texts.


Community Bible Experiencewith Adrian Armstrong (Friday)

Community Bible Experience revolves around a new format of the NIV Bible, stripped of verses and chapter numbers. It reads as a flowing narrative, with conversation, discovery and learning all springing from the flow of the text. Meeting weekly, groups feel more like a book group than a Bible study, Over 4,000 people around Scotland have used CBE to read the New Testament in the last 3 years, and this workshop introduces this tool to read the Bible together in community.

ordinary life

Five Practical Places to Live at Godspeed, with Matt Canlis (Friday)

A Biblical pilgrimage from who we are in Christ to where we live out our identity as God's children: [1] In the river (baptism); [2] In the desert (temptation); [3] In ordinary life (home, work, church, study, glebe).

‘And You Welcomed Me’, with Rosemary & Alistair Hector and Sharon Jebb Smith (Thursday)

In an individualistic society the need for Christians to think through their role as hosts is vital.  What is hospitality? How do we offer it?  Is it just about inviting people for a meal? This workshop will consider hospitality as a means of grace.


Simplicity, Silence and Synchronicity — Steps Into Trinitarian Community, with Ray Simpson (Thursday)

As founding Guardian of a dispersed international community Ray has wrestled with questions such as 'In what sense do we belong when there is no ready-made community on the doorstep'?  This has led him to the desert fathers of whose indissoluble bond of friendship Cassian wrote 'no interval of time or space can sever or destroy, (and) even death itself cannot part.'


Prayers of Love, with Graham Black (Thursday)

Bernard of Clairvaux wrote of Four Stages of Love. We will look at each and see how the growth and development of our love for God shapes, forms and changes our prayers. This will draw us into the practice of praying the Word of God.


Releasing Prophetic Gifting, with David Kidd (Friday)

Prophets and the prophetic supply much of the biblical narrative. This often differs greatly from the experience of Church today. This workshop will look at ways of restoring the prophetic gift in our churches and society today.


Guided Pilgrimage Walks, with chaplains (Thursday/Friday)

Take time to process what you're learning by joining your chaplains on a guided walk down the Leith Water Way. The spacious two-hour walk includes coffee shop stops, time to journal or talk with a friend, and the chance to discuss what the Lord is teaching you at The Abbey. Our team of chaplains is praying that each person at The Abbey will know the prophetic guidance of Isaiah 30:21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.'

For the fourth plenary session this year, we will hear a series of TED talks. In these mini-lectures, we will expand our focus on relationality to the Old and New Testaments, and ground it in the very practical realities of spiritual friendship, living in community, and pursuing reconciliation and forgiveness in the face of conflict.

“Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Relationality in the Old Testament” (Iain Provan)

“One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism? Divisive Unity in the New Testament” (Benj Petroelje)

“Spiritual Friendship in the Christian Tradition” (Sharon Jebb Smith)

“Reconciling the Past” (David Kidd)

“Walls or Divine Connections?” (Ray Simpson)