The Julian Meetings are groups of people who meet regularly in order to grow in the practice of contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition. In North Walsham we have two groups, with members from local Anglican, Methodist, Quaker and Roman Catholic churches. Each group meets monthly, usually in a member's home at 7.30pm, and after a brief prayer and reading, enters into silence for at least thirty-five minutes.
This silence is described as "waiting on God", because in it we try to be aware of His presence, to be attentive and open to Him. We learn to lay aside everyday distractions, and how to deal with these thoughts when they intrude. It is not a time for asking, or even for thanksgiving, but a time to sit or kneel in shared silence and be open to God's presence, to be aware in a way which is not possible when conversation is made. A well-known story tells of a French peasant who was asked by a visitor what he was doing, sitting in church hour after hour, apparently doing nothing. His explanation was "I look at Him, He looks at me". Most of us have to learn how to approach God in this way.
In a Julian Meeting we support each other, learning at the same time to practice contemplative prayer in our everyday lives. This time of sharing is much valued by members.
The meeting ends, after closing prayer, in useful discussion over coffee, and we part at 9pm.