The Coordinating Group of the Contemplative Network Aotearoa

In 2009, after Cynthia Bourgeault’s first visit to New Zealand, a small group made up of Pip Nicholls (Wellington), Kevin Gallagher (Christchurch), Agnes Hermans (Whangarei), and Tony and Bev Silvester-Clark (Auckland) came together with the commitment to support contemplative practice here in Aotearoa.  This group saw the purpose of Contemplative Network Aotearoa as being to offer opportunities for people exploring the Christian contemplative path to learn, grow and be supported on their journey.  We have done this by:

  • Holding retreats, wisdom schools and public talks, primarily by Cynthia Bourgeault, and other international contemplative teachers.
  • Offering retreats and wisdom schools led by local teachers.
  • Creating and maintaining a website that provides information on local and national contemplative practice groups and events, as well as links and resources.

We are grateful to have been guided by Cynthia Bourgeault who has encouraged us to develop in a manner that reflects our part of the world, and to avoid simply importing a model that is based on similar North American organisations.

In 2018 we have a growing community of around 500 people across the country (and some in Australia) who have attended events organised by the coordinating group and / or subscribed to our website database. This wider group of people forms the Contemplative Network Aotearoa.

There have been some recent changes in the Coordinating Group as our dear founding members Pip Nicholls (Wellington) and Kevin Gallagher (Christchurch) have stepped back due to other commitments. Tony Silvester-Clark has redefined his role as being a liaison with the Coromandel Christian Trust and support with financial management. Bev Silvester-Clark (Helensville) and Agnes Hermans (Whangarei) have recently been joined by Kaia Ariel (Dunedin) and Pat Neuwelt (Auckland) as members of the group.  

At our recent Wisdom School with Cynthia she described those who support the structure and flow within an organisation as ‘post holders’. We feel deeply privileged to have this role in the Contemplative Network Aotearoa.  It is an honour to be able to give back to the contemplative movement that has nourished us and we look forward to engaging with you in our collective movement within God.

Posted on 04/11/2018 by Agnes Hemans, Bev Silvester-Clark, Pat Neuwelt, Kaia Ariel