Trinity Term 2024

Trinity Term 2024



at St Theosevia House, 2 Canterbury Road, Oxford OX2 6LU

An Ecumenical Centre for Christian Spirituality

‘Have salt in yourselves’!

An experimental Garden Party, 3 pm – 6 pm. Talks at 4 pm by Prof. Henry Mayr-Harting, Revd Dr Liz Carmichael: Salt, its origins and meanings

If possible leave message on 01865 310341, or notify  Or just come!

Exploring Prayer and Ways of Praying: Silence, Music, and Icons

Saturday 1 June 10.30 am – 4 pm

Open Study Day with Joanna Tulloch, Revd Dr Liz Carmichael, Sr Clare-Louise SLG, Delvyn Case III

All welcome, no registration required. Free for students; non-students £5. Tea and coffee provided.

 You are welcome to bring a sandwich lunch. 

From the Director: Revd Dr Liz Carmichael, St John’s College. Assistant Director of Studies: Claire  Website:

St Theosevia House phone (messages only): 01865 310341. 

                                                                                        April 2024

Dear Friends of St Theosevia’s,

Please continue to pray for those suffering violent conflict, not least in Ukraine and the Holy Land. May God strengthen all who seek for a breakthrough to peace.

Hilary Term saw two very well-attended Study Days, The first featured  deeply engaging reflections on how icons help us to see other people as made in the image of God, as subjects and not as objects. The second Day, on symbols, dwelt on the ‘pearl of great price’ in the writings of St Ephrem, and St Teresa’s illustrations of stages of growth in prayer by likening them to four ways of bringing water to a thirsty Spanish garden.

This term we experiment with our first Garden Party on Saturday 11 May (indoors if wet!) giving a chance to meet one another, hopefully on a nice sunny summer afternoon, and to hear reflections from Professor Henry Mayr-Harting and myself on the intriguing topic of salt, its practical origins and uses and its metaphorical and spiritual meanings! If you would like to assist with catering, please leave a message on 310341 or email Claire.

On Saturday 1 June we have a full Study Day exploring Prayer, including silence, music, and, once again, icons of Christ. The speakers are Joana Tulloch and myself, Sr Clare-Louise from the Anglican contemplative community, the Sisters of the Love of God, at Fairacres in Oxford, and musician Del Case who is visiting Oxford from Wheaton College, Illinois.

Welcome to the above, and to the Zernov Lecture on 14 May.

                                                With best wishes,  



Free tea and coffee are available at Study Days from 10 am and in the lunch break 1-2 pm. Bring packed lunch, or forage nearby in North Parade. If you can help serve coffee you will have a free place – please leave a message on 01865 310341 or email Claire    Please do send a Newsletter Subscription for costs and postage, suggested £5 pa, by cash, or cheque to ‘St Theosevia Trust’, to: Newsletter, St Theosevia House, 2 Canterbury Rd, OX2 6LU. For bank details please ask Claire.

For the Oxford Centre for Spiritual  Growth (OCSG), see or contact Ben Simpson at

‘Have salt in yourselves’!

A first Garden Party, Saturday 11 May 3 – 6 pm

Talks 4-5 pm on ‘Salt, its origins and meanings’

Prof. Henry Mayr-Harting & Revd Dr Liz Carmichael

Catering: the House will supply the essentials, including strawberries and cream! If you would like to contribute to the feast, please leave a message on 01865 310341(please repeat any numbers for calling back) or email Claire:   Indoors if wet!

Welcome to this first St Theosevia’s Garden Party, an experiment which we hope you will enjoy! Arrive any time from 3 pm.  At 4 pm we move into the House, to the usual Study Day venue, for an hour in which to enjoy two talks, with discussion, on salt down the ages and in Scripture. Henry Mayr-Harting FBA, was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History 1997 – 2003. Liz Carmichael MBE was Fellow and Tutor in Theology at St John’s College 1996 – 2011. The talks will range across the  many uses and meanings of salt, its metaphorical significance, and how it is mined and produced. The party continues after the talks, until 6 pm. Come and enjoy a unique afternoon!

Saturday 1 June 10.30 am – 4 pm

Exploring Prayer and Ways of Praying: Silence, Music, and Icons

Joanna Tulloch, Revd Dr Liz Carmichael,

Sr Clare-Louise SLG, Delvyn Case

Praying with icons of Christ and the chants of Taizé

Joanna will introduce several of the main icons of Christ: the Pantocrator (Lord and Ruler of All), the Holy Face (the Icon Not Made with Hands), the Crucifixion, and the Anastasis (the Resurrection, with the Descent into Hell).  She will discuss some Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant approaches to praying with these icons, and will introduce some published resources for prayer. Liz will teach an Easter canon from Taizé and lead a short prayer with a scripture reading, silence, and the Resurrection icon.

Joanna has been interested in icons for more than fifty years and has been painting them since 2005. She lives in Oxford with her husband George. Her book Imperfect Icons, Perfect Love illustrates her earliest icons and offers a prayer-poem for each one. Liz has enjoyed and used the music and style of prayer at Taizé since her first visit at Easter 1970.

Contemplative Prayer: perceptions and preconceptions

Sister Claire-Louise writes: ‘…there are various strange ideas around what contemplative prayer ‘is’, and ‘who it is for’, that Teresa of Avila helps us to explore and can be turned around to say what it really ‘is’!’

Sr Clare-Louise is a member of the Sisters of the Love of God, an Anglican contemplative Community based at Fairacres, Oxford. For many years she has been inspired and encouraged by the Saints of Carmel.

Composing Prayers

Using several of his own works as examples, Delvyn Case will provide a glimpse into how composers approach the significant challenge of setting prayers to music – and how musical settings can shape the ways we think about Scripture and faith.

Delvyn Case is an American composer and musicologist whose work explores how sacred music can serve as a resource for theological thinking, biblical interpretation, and spiritual formation. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford.


ANNUAL ZERNOV LECTURE: TUESDAY 14 MAY, 5 pm, at Maison Francaisé. You are warmly invited to the annual Zernov Lecture, in memory of Dr Nicholas Zernov. Dr Sebastian Brock speaks on ‘The Ecumenical Journey of St Isaac the Syrian’s Writings’, at 5 pm at the Maison Francaise, Norham Rd, on Tuesday 14 May. Followed by drinks.  The Lecture will trace the translation history of St Isaac’s writings, from Syriac to Greek and Latin, to Slavonic, Portuguese, Russian, and the many translations of the Philokalia.