Convent of the Incarnation · Fairacres · Parker Street · Oxford · OX4 1TB     Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 721301    Email Us

Night skySister contemplating in the gardenLabyrinth in the Convent garden

Silence and solitude ...

Silence is one of the qualities most noticed by those who visit us. In the noisy environment in which we live it is a great privilege. We aim to be completely silent during the night, and to be sparing in our speech by day. Silence covers all the levels of our life, including the way we move and communicate with one another, the quietening of the mind’s obsessions and distractedness, and the inner silence which is our offering of reverence to God.

Solitude, or time being alone, is a distinctive aspect of our community life. Our solitude is not just privacy but a taste of the desert as it is known in the scriptures and in monastic tradition: a place of struggle and of the revelation of God’s particular love for us. Like silence, solitude is a means of growth in prayer and self-knowledge. How much solitude is right for us, and how we use it, will vary. Each one’s solitude is unique, but leads mysteriously to solidarity.