Towards a more contemplative way of living





Welcome to the website of author & broadcaster




Following in the footsteps of Father Henri J. M. Nouwen and Brother Roger of Taize







Website designed and managed by James Proctor. All material is copyrighted.

Permission to quote should be requested and acknowledged. Thank you.


A warm welcome!


'You dream of a hermitage, ' writes the Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse.' But you already have your hermitage, here and now! Sit still, and call out: 'Lord, have mercy!'


We all need a hermitage within - an inner sanctuary where our contermplative side can be cherished and nourished in silence and the prayer of the heart. Then, wherever we go, we can take our hermitage with us and bring light to others.


This evolving website presents a virtual hermitage or poustinia to honour the vision of Henri J. M. Nouwen and Brother Roger of Taize who were both deeply influenced by Orthodox spirtuality and the wisdom of the Desert.


Both contemplatives in their own unique ways, Henri and Roger were no strangers to inner struggle, uncertainty and self-doubt, so this hermitage welcomes especially those who are wrestling with personal issues of any kind or who may feel alienated from - or ambivalent about - institutional religion.


It is always good to hear from visitors. If you would like to get in touch, please contact 'Hermitage Within' by clicking on 'Contact' at the top of the page. Thank you very much.









Michael Ford (right) with the brothers at Thomas Merton's hermitage, Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, during a BBC recording of Radio 4's Sunday Worship from the United States.

'The paradox of the Christian community is that people are gathered together in voluntary displacement' (Henri Nouwen, Compassion).