Benedictus is an ecumenical Christian community with a practice of silent contemplative prayer at its heart. Our weekly worship service on Saturday evenings includes a simple liturgy, a Scripture reading and theological reflection, music and prayer, and a 15 minute period of silent meditation. Every third week we share in Holy Communion.
The Benedictus service and some other activities are offered via Zoom as well as ‘in the flesh’, and these online connections are integral to the life of Benedictus. There are Zoom home groups for those who would like to connect with others more regularly, and some emerging local ‘chapters’ of Benedictus where Zoom members who live in other cities can meet physically from time to time.
Benedictus hosts community days, a Spiritual Practice Group and L’Chaim groups for formation in contemplative action. We offer opportunities for primary school-aged children to learn meditation and be refreshed at our contemplative Kaleidoscope afternoons. We also have a Theology Reading Group, a Benedictus walking group, a monthly 11th Step Meditation Group (based on the 11th step of 12 step programs of recovery) and Fellowship through Books (where members read and discuss books from a wide range of themes and spiritual traditions). More information about our local and Zoom groups is available on our Formation page or by contacting us on email@example.com.
We offer silent meditation every weekday at 12.30pm in the church and online meditation at 5.30pm from Sunday to Friday. Everyone, from whatever background or tradition, is welcome to join us for meditation or participate in Events that offer a chance to rest, reflect and be returned to daily life replenished.
Benedictus is an independent church and a not-for-profit incorporated association. Our Constitution and 2020 Director’s Report are available and you can read more of our story and unfolding journey in our Pastoral Letters.
We are not formally affiliated with any other church, and rely entirely on donations to sustain our ministry.
If you make use of our website and the weekly reflections and are in a position to make a financial contribution, we would very much value your support. Your regular or one-off donation via our Benedictus account (BSB 633 000; Account No. 153841135) or via our PayPal account will contribute to maintaining the website and its content, a salary for Sarah and provision for office, worship and other meeting spaces.
Benedictus featured on Radio National, The Spirit of Things, on Sunday 2 August 2015. The podcast is available at https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/spiritofthings/benedictus–contemplative–church/6659940
Benedictus is led by Sarah Bachelard. Sarah is a theologian, retreat leader and priest in Anglican Orders. She is a member of the World Community for Christian Meditation and has led retreats and taught contemplative prayer nationally and internationally. She has also worked in the Senate Committee Office and parish ministry, as a chaplain with UnitingCare Ageing and as lecturer in theology at Charles Sturt University. Sarah is the author of Experiencing God in a Time of Crisis, Resurrection and Moral Imagination and A Contemplative Christianity for Our Time.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are different methods of meditation. All are ways by which we are enabled to sink deeper into our own hearts. There we encounter the Spirit of Christ who dwells within and who draws us ever more completely into communion with the life of God.
For those who come to Benedictus with an existing practice of silent meditation, we encourage you to continue in your practice. For those who are new to meditation, we teach the method practised by the World Community for Christian Meditation. This way of meditation was rediscovered in the 20th century by the Benedictine monk, Father John Main, and is based on the teaching of the early desert monks.
‘The purpose of meditation for each of us is that we come to our own centre. In many traditions, meditation is spoken of as a pilgrimage – a pilgrimage to your own centre, your own heart, and there you learn to remain awake, alive and still … The importance of meditation is to discover from your own experience that there is only one centre and that the life task for all of us is to find our source and our meaning by discovering and living out of that one centre’.
John Main, Moment of Christ
To meditate, sit still and upright. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word. We recommend the prayer-phrase, ‘Maranatha’. Say it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts and images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning simply to saying the word.
© The World Community for Christian Meditation
Music at Benedictus draws on the gifts and energies of singers and instrumentalists in the congregation, and brings great joy to our weekly gatherings. We come from a variety of denominational and musical backgrounds, and repertoire at Benedictus ranges from classical sacred music to contemporary Christian worship songs. Several musicians have also performed their own original works. If you are interested to join the music roster or explore that possibility, please let us know.