Recent Events  Previous Conferences
Forthcoming Events

Oakham Residential Conference 2022

13th General meeting of the Thomas Merton Society
of Great Briain and Ireland

Held at Oakham Scool Thursday 7th April - Saturday 9th April

Details of the conference and how to book are being finalised,
and will be available on this website in the Autumn

Recent Events

'Where we actually are is where we belong':
Thomas Merton on the Ethos of Stability

On 15 May 2021 the Society hosted a webinar with
James Cronin and Jim Forest

The webinar was an extended reflection on the instruction from Merton’s essay ‘The Cell’ (1967):
‘where we actually are is where we belong.’ 
The webinar was hosted by Anthony Purvis.

The webinar, running to 1hr 26 mins, may be viewed here

The essay, 'The Cell', is included in Contemplation in a World of Action

A PDF file of 'The Cell' may be downloaded here - used by permission of The Merton Legacy Trust.

James Cronin's essay, 'The Poetics of History', which references 'The Cell'

Details of our previous residential conferences may be found under the 'Resources' tab.
Note: If you are organising a Merton event in GB or Ireland and would like to advertise it on our website please email the details to:

15th May 2021 'Where we actually are is where we belong' -Thomas Merton on the Ethos of Stability
     A webinar with James Cronin and Jim Forest hosted by Anthony Purvis. The webinar was an extended reflection
     on the instruction from Merton’s essay ‘The Cell’ (1967): ‘Where we actually are is where we belong.’ 

29th March 2021 A Small Matter of Life and Death A 40 minute play, hosted on Zoom, imagining an unexpected encounter
     between Merton and the Puritan poet Anne Bradsheet, followed by a Q&A session.
     Performed by Michael Woodward and Katie Georgiou

23rd November 2018 Preaching, Praying and Pondering Matthew's Gospel  The Community of The Resurrection, Mirfield, West Yorkshire
     Led by Bonnie Thurston

19th October 2019 Becoming Friends of God and Prophets Holiness according to Thomas Merton
     and Pope Francis, led by Dan Horan OFM at The Meditatio Centre, London.
     The day, held in conjunction with The World Community for Christian Meditation, included talks,
     a period of meditation and a shared act of reflective worship.

15th-18th July 2019 'Lord, what do you want me to do'  An exploration of vocation aided by the
     writings of Thomas Merton and the abstract paintings of the leader, Revd Canon Robert Wright
     at St Mary's Convent, Freeland, Oxfordshire This retreat is organised by the Third Order of the
     Society of Saint Francis. 

13th June 2019 On the Edge of Insight:The Contemplative Mysticism of Thomas Merton
     'Spirituality of the Edge' summer lectures with Fiona Gardner.
     Lower mews, Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath BA1 2RH

18th May 2019 Thomas Merton - Contemplative Poet. An introduction to Merton's Contemplative
     Poetry with Stephen Dunhill and musical settings by James D'Angelo.
     at Colet House, Hammersmith, London.

23rd February 2019 Thomas Merton - Master of Contemplation. A quiet day led by Peter Tyler
      at The House of Prayer, Eastmoseley, Surrey.

11th January - 13th January 2019 'To be human in this most inhuman of ages' A European
     symposium to mark the fiftieth anniversary of 
the death of Thomas Merton held at
     Muensterschwarzach Abbey, Germany. Speakers include Dr. Bonnie Thurston, P. Dr. Anselm
     Grün OSB
, P. Otto Betler OSB, Abt Michael Reepen OSB, Prof. P. Dr. Kosmas Thielmann OCist,
     Dr. Malgorzata Poks, Dr. Ash Cocksworth, Dr. h.c. Wunibald Müller, Andreas Ebert,
     Gary Hall, Detlev Cuntz.

13th December 2018 An Evening with Jim Forest reflecting on Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day
     & Daniel Berrigan at S
t Pancras Church, Eversholt Street, London NW1. Jim Forest knew,
     worked with and has written on Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day & Daniel Berrigan. 

8th December 2018 The Spiritual Roots of Protest & Merton's Enduring Legacy
     A study day held at The Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh led by Jim Forest, one of the few
     people still living who knew Merton as a friend and co-worker, with James Cronin,
     Brian Larkin, Jolyon Mitchell & Philippa Bonella.

8th December 2018 A Day with Thomas Merton on the 50th anniversary of his death,
     held at The Lion Ballroom, Leominster, Herefordshire, with Fiona Gardner, James D'Angelo,
Charles MacCarthyThe day included reflections, a musical setting of poems byMerton,
     and the opportunity 
to hear a recording of Merton teaching his novices.

24th November 2018 Merton & Barth: Word & Silence - Prayer & Protest. A day of reflection and
     conversation on the legacies of Thomas Merton and Karl Barth to mark the 50th anniversary
     of their deaths on 10th Dec 1968. Held at St Michael's Priory, Milton Keynes, with Gary Hall
     & Ashley Cocksworth

12th November 2018 Living the Good Life with Thomas Merton with James Cronin
     The Ennismore Retreat Centre, Montenotte, Cork, Ireland . Throughout history, philosophers

     have asked the question: how should we live? In this conversation James Cronin,
     University College Cork, introduces participants to the writings of American Trappist
     Thomas Merton to uncover Merton’s understanding of the good life.

2nd November - 15th November 2018 An Exhibition of Paintings by Robert Wright
     At Whirlow Spirituality Centre, Sheffield.With intense use of colour, in twenty
     striking abstract
patterns, Robert explored the solitude and silence of Merton's dark
     path of contemplation.
In addition Robert led two workshops reflecting on his own
     work in conjunction with photographs 
by Merton on November 2nd and November 5th. 

22nd September 2018 A Quiet Day on Thomas Merton with Bonnie Thurston
     At St Katharine's House, East London After an introduction to Merton's life and thought,

     we will explore what he meant by 'contemplation'. There will be time and space fo
     silent reflection as well as questions and discussion.

22nd-24th June 2018 Alive to the Splendour: A Weekend with Thomas Merton
     Led by Stephen Dunhill, Canon John McLuckie & Canon Anne Tomlinson  Held at
     The Cathedral of the Isles on The Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde,
     a 10 minute ferry ride from Largs, 35 miles west of Glasgow. 

12th-15th June Thomas Merton: Prophecy and Renewal - A Residential Symposium held at
     Sant'Anselmo, Rome Keynote Speakers: Dr Paul M. Pearson & Michael Casey OCSO
     Fifty years 
after his death, we may well ask: How does Merton’s legacy remain
     relevant today?

22nd March 2018 Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise: The Spiritual Maturity of
     Thomas Merton  A Study Day led by Fiona Gardner in Salisbury This day will
     explore aspects
 of Merton's mature spirituality, focusing on his epiphany in front
     of the Buddhist statues
at Polonnaruwa a few days before his death. 

2nd December 2017 Thomas Merton - His Life, Work & Witness - a retreat day for Advent
     led by Fr Dan Horan at The Meditatio Centre, London ECD1R 1XX.This day, held
     in conjunction with The World Community for Christian Meditation, included talks, period
     of meditation and a shared act of reflective worship.

17th July 2017. Thomas Merton & Sufism - a lecture exploring the influence of Sufism
     on Merton's thought. A lecture given by Virginia Gray Henry, director of the
     Kentucky-based publisher Fons Vitae, in London. 

9th-11th June 2017. Thomas Merton's Prophetic Practice - A Residential Retreat
     led by Gary Hall. What does it mean to ‘be human in this most inhuman of ages’, to
     ‘transfigure the evil and stricken world’ with ‘words of hope’ This retreat will explore these
     questions of Thomas Merton, and his responses as he continues to speak into the heart
     of our turbulent times, beckoning us into an expansive, visionary political life open to
     unknown futures. Held at Launde Abbey on the borders of Leicestershire and Rutland.  

20th May 2017. True Prayer: True Justice - A Day to Celebrate the Work of the Urban
     Theologian Kenneth Leech This day, convened by the Bishop of Liverpool,
     Rt Rev Paul Bayes, held at Liverpool Hope,University. With Terry Drummond,
     Alison Milbank and George Guiver CR.

14th January 2017. A Quiet Day with Thomas Merton led by Esther de Waal, author and
     patron of the TMS-GBI, held at St Katherine's House, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS.

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Previous Conferences

Facing the Life-and-Death Issues

Twelfth General Meeting & Conference

6-8 April 2018

Oakham School, Rutland, UK

The Conference Programme may be downloaded here (pdf)

Life is on our side

Eleventh General Meeting & Conference

1-3 April 2016

Oakham School, Rutland, UK

The Conference Programme may be downloaded here (pdf)

The Road to Joy

Tenth General Meeting & Conference

4-6 April 2014

Oakham School, Rutland, UK

The Conference Programme may be downloaded here (pdf)


Raids on the Unspeakable

Ninth General Meeting and Conference

13–15 April 2012

Oakham School, Rutland, UK

The Conference programme may be downloaded here (pdf).


     2010 9-11 April  "The night spirit and the dawn air"
     Conference programme (pdf)
     Keynote addresses by

          Paul Quenon OCSO - Conjectures: Postscript from Gethsemani

          Mary Grey -
          Earthing our Spirituality:What role for contemplation roots in an age of planetary crisis?
          Margaret Silf - "Through Darkness to Dawn": In search of transition in troubled times

          Conference Photographs


The Thomas Merton Collection

Over the years the Society has built up a comprehensive collection of books, journals and volumes of letters by Merton along with a wide range of critical commentaries on Merton's work as well as recordings of talks and conferences given by Merton. The collection is now housed at St Michael's Priory, Willen outside Milton Keynes, where it may be freely consulted by all.

St Michael's Priory website               Details about the Collection            

On-line Library Catalogue

To access the Merton Collection use the search code TMC



Links to Merton art


Links to International Merton groups