The Big Silence

The Big Silence

Modern life is a fast-paced, high-pressured, nightmare of noise, stress, worry and hurry. And for what? An economic crisis, an ailing planet and an uncertain future. But there is another, gentler way…

For centuries monks around the globe have lived according to the 1300-year-old rule of Saint Benedict. Owning nothing and cocooned in their monasteries far from the distractions and temptations of the outside world, they have lived lives of quiet contemplation and reflection, focussed on the core monastic principles of silence, obedience and humility. In this fascinating series we explore whether the Rule of Benedict can be brought onto the streets of Britain. Can this ancient guide to finding inner peace work for real people, with real problems in the wider world?

We  follow 5 volunteers who are willing to embark on a journey to find and put the silence that we all crave into their everyday lives, and learn what to do with it when it is there. Many faiths depend on Silence and deep contemplation as tools of spiritual well-being and Abbott Christopher Jamison believes that if we learn to be silent we can communicate with God. If we allow time for personal, contemplative prayer our whole life can be shaped by the relationship. But why is ‘peace and quiet’ so elusive and why do we try and avoid it? What might happen in the space we might create in our heads if we kept quiet?

We follow the personal journeys of our volunteers as they embark on a potentially life changing journey to see whether silence and the power of prayer can help them. To help them they will go on a 10 day silent retreat at St Beuno’s run by Jesuit priests. Throughout this experience there will be a support structure in place. Volunteers will be supported at the retreat and beyond by a team of mentors – highly qualified spiritual guides – who will help them process and filter the emotions, thoughts and questions thrown up by the silence. Also Abbott Christopher Jamison will be following their progress and advising.

The question is, after their time with their mentors and Father Christopher is over, will they return to their old ways or will they have learnt valuable lessons that profoundly change their lives forever?

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  • programme details
    Series Producer
    Dollan Cannell
    Clare Bradbury and Barney Snow
    Executive Producers
    John Blake and Charles Brand
    Transmission Date
    22nd October 2010
    UK Transmission Channel
    Number of Episodes
    Length of Episodes
  • licensing & distribution
    DVD Distributor
    Canny Media
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