Alumni Mosaic

May 1, 2015

Abbey Summer School

by Sharon Jebb Smith | photo by Darin Dueck
Inchcolm_abbey_resized

**  UPDATE ** Visit the website Abbey Summer School for all the details on the second annual event set for July 23-25, 2015 in Edinburgh. This year's theme of the Trinity will feature keynote speaker Jeremy Begbie, with James Houston, Iain Provan and Julie Canlis as well. 

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WHAT IS THE ABBEY SUMMER SCHOOL?  A new venture from a committed group of alumni in Scotland, and a vision to serve the Scottish church.  

For a long time it seemed like a nice idea and no more - wouldn't it be great if...?  But there came a point when Matt and Julie Canlis and ourselves [George Smith and Sharon Jebb Smith] seemed to have decided - independently and simultaneously - that a summer school would be more than just a nice idea. It was time to make it happen. 

We found some other Regent alumni who were keen too - Heather Hillen (nee Robb), David Robinson, and even our speaker, professor Iain Provan - were all willing to commit themselves to monthly Skype calls and a long list of varied tasks required to get a three-day summer school off the ground. 

A year later, we had a summer school (Thursday - Saturday) with a range of speakers on the theme of Sabbath, a communal meal , and a pilgrimage to Inchcolm Abbey on the Saturday, where we had a reflective communion service. The pilgrimage felt risky! We had to get a boat: what if the weather was wet? - were there too many tourists on the island that day? and what about the fact that it was practically a seagull colony? 

But people were glad of the attempt to be integrative - to not just to have their minds fed, but a theology that included body, mind and soul. And when given a chance to get to know like-minded people, to practice some spiritual conversation as provided by Matt and some others, the folk engaged deeply. As they left, they said they'd be back.  

And so in 2015 we'll host the second Abbey Summer School in Edinburgh this time on the theme of the Trinity, with keynote speaker Jeremy Begbie, with James Houston,  Iain Provan and Julie Canlis as well. 


  • Visit our website for all the details and information on registration and images from our 2014 innaugural event. Join us!  http://abbeysummerschool.com/ 

Sharon Jebb Smith 
on behalf of the Abbey Summer School team

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Photo credits: alumnus Darin Dueck.