On Saturday 25th November Trudy Kilcullen, the former Chair of the Southwark Spirituality Commission, was honoured to receive the Diocesan Medal during a service in her parish of Holy Apostles, Swanley. The Medal is awarded by Archbishop Wilson for exceptional service, most often, but not always, to those who have contributed to and enhanced the life of the Archdiocese of Southwark in a voluntary capacity.
Speaking with joy about the award, Trudy said:
“I am delighted to have been recognised for my service to the Archdiocese and in reality, I am accepting the medal on behalf of every single member of the Commission – all who give freely of their time in order that people have opportunities to deepen their personal relationship with God”.
Having been involved with the Southwark Spirituality Commission for 10 years, Trudy cites the importance of Pope Francis’ teaching that “Holiness is a journey” and that during her tenure, particularly in the last 5 years, she has often been inspired by the words of St Clare of Assisi, in the context of encouraging a deeper relationship with God:
“We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.”
This statement, she says, has provided inspiration to develop of a number of projects promoting spirituality in the Archdiocese of Southwark, including:
- The development of “Ways into Prayer”: A printed and online resource to enable parishes to deliver a series of up to 12 sessions to help people develop their prayer life
- Delivering daily online reflections for Advent and Lent: The production of a daily email reflection delivered directly to the inbox of all on the mailing list and the development of a ‘Talking Heads’ video series during the pandemic, reflecting on the Easter Gospels
- Delivering online retreats for lent to enable people to deepen their prayer life: As a response to lockdowns an online retreat was developed, with input from Archbishop Wilson, to offer people an opportunity to deepen their prayer life. In 2023 the Lent and Easter retreat ‘Renewed in Hope’ attracted 1724 participants, with others taking part offline.
- Developing a CCRS module on Spirituality: Writing a new module in order to enhance the Certificate and offer an opportunity to reflect on the development of our spiritual lives.
- Communicating and coordinating with a community of Spiritual Directors: Coordination of a contact list of 35 Spiritual Directors, which was made available within the Archdiocese. This helped to meet the needs of approximately 50 people seeking their services each year. The Commission also promoted training and development opportunities and instigated a review of standards and safeguarding for Spiritual Directors.
- Communications: The Southwark Spirituality website remained a focus for Spirituality in the Diocese and as a signpost to resources and activities. The Commission also responded positively to requests for statutory publication reports.
A New Focus and Advent Reflections
The Southwark Spirituality Commission is currently engaged in finding a new Chairperson but Trudy is enthusiastic about continuing her involvement, albeit in a different capacity. In particular, she is looking forward to sharing the 2024 daily Southwark Spirituality Advent Reflections, which will feature seasonal thoughts, Scripture and prayer designed to help recipients navigate their way towards and through the story of Christmas.
This year's Advent Reflections will allow each participant to hear readings anew, look at where the daily Bible passage resonates within their own life and consider how it can draw them nearer to God.
For further information on the Spirituality Commission, including retreats, spiritual direction and a wide variety of prayer resources visit https://www.southwarkdsc.org.uk/