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A new Carmelite meeting

Yesterday I had the great delight of attending a new Carmelite meeting in Northampton. Yes, we were only five - but we did an impressive amount of sharing. Usually with new meetings you have to expect that it will take a few months for the ice to break, but this was exceptional. It was a prayer group or spirituality group and not technically an OCDS (Secular Carmelite) group - but three of us were OCDS. We met in a bookshop. The bookshop is run by Tony and his business partner Martin, for whom it is not just a shop but an opportunity for ministry. They have a space with tables and people can sit and have coffee or tea. They aim to make themselves available for spiritual support to people who come into the shop to browse. We started our meeting at 4.30pm, after the shop closed, so we had the premises to ourselves. One of the delightful things that emerged in our sharing was how the Divine Providence had been working to bring us to the point of meeting. Tony and I had been discussing the possibility of a regular Northampton meeting for months but there were various obstacles. Quite suddenly the obstacles fell away and the light changed to green.

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