Jennifer Kavanagh

Jennifer Kavanagh

Jennifer Kavanagh is an associate tutor for Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. She is a speaker and writer on the Spirit-led life and has published eight books. Jennifer Kavanagh worked in publishing for nearly thirty years, the last fourteen as an independent literary agent. Since becoming a Quaker in 1995, and selling her business a couple of years later, she has run a community centre in London’s East End, worked with street homeless people and refugees, set up microcredit programmes in London and several African countries, and worked as a research associate for the Prison Reform Trust. She spent many years facilitating conflict resolution workshops for Alternatives to Violence (AVP), both in prison and in the community. In 2012 she set up a charitable trust, Open Wing Trust, which seeks to support people as they change their lives to work with and for people in need. Having worked with writers for almost thirty years in her publishing career, Jennifer is now engaged in her own writing. Apart from a couple of collections of children’s short stories that she edited in the 1970s, Jennifer has had ten non-fiction books of her own published, and two novels. She has also created two games: the boardgame, Journey Home, and the Prayer Game (see links). After a year’s travel round the world in 2001/2, Jennifer found that she did not want her flat or most of its furniture, and has felt liberated by letting go of many of her possessions. Although she now lives in central London, her flat is small and quiet: an urban retreat, with an occasional glimpse of the stars. Jennifer has studied singing for many years; it’s an important part of her life as is, increasingly, the art of clowning, which she took up again in 2011. She hopes that creativity and spontaneity – being open to all that is with the freshness of Beginner’s mind – will be a growing tendency in her life. Jennifer finds balancing an active life with a pull towards contemplation a continuing and fruitful challenge. As she writes, “Life in the world is about a series of balances: of the life within and the outside world; inner experience and outward witness, plenitude and the void”. She has also been asked to be a speaker at the annual gathering of Belgium and Luxemburg Quakers in June 2022.

Retreats led by Jennifer Kavanagh

September 2024

Booking ID: 130924

What is prayer?

Many of us have a problem with the word, maybe the whole concept, of prayer.  This weekend will give us the opportunity to share what we feel about it and explore different types of prayer.  What is prayer?  Who or what do we pray to?  Does it work?

This workshop offers a rare opportunity to share something of our spiritual lives and practice.  We will consider how forms of collective and individual prayer in different traditions are reflected in our own spiritual practice, if we have one.  We will explore the practice of contemplative prayer and the possibility of an entire life lived as prayer.  Is prayer the same as worship?

We will spend the weekend as a community, with time in plenary, as well as sharing in pairs and groups.  These will be input, some readings, and time for solitary consideration. 

We will also use the Prayer card game as a tool of exploration.

Residential price: £370.00
Non-residential price: £174.00