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Have a Complicated Advent, with RS Thomas

6 December 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 7 December 2019 @ 4:00 pm

An Advent Urban Retreat with Pádraig Ó Tuama

R.S. Thomas was a Welsh poet and priest. Prolific in publishing during his lifetime, his work spanned landscape, religion, nationalism, power and prayer. At once both soothing and unsettling, his work takes strong language and puts it into the place of poetry and prayer. When considering the scent of capitalism, he saw that it rose to the “clogged nostrils of God”.

This retreat will take a few of his books from the mid 1970s and explore it through the lens of poetry, prayer, faith, justice and hope.

There’ll be time for reading, time for discussion, time for hearing each other, and time for appreciating the timeless brilliance of R.S. Thomas.

No knowledge of Thomas’ work is necessary in advance. However, if you want to do some preparation, buy his book, H’m, for yourself and delve into its brilliance.

This retreat will be led by Pádraig Ó Tuama, for whom a yearly pilgrimage to Glasgow is a bit of an addiction now.


About Pádraig

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a longtime friend of the Iona Community, Wild Goose and festivals, with interests in whisky, conflict, power, language and religion. He brings these interests to his work as a poet, theologian, broadcaster and peaceworker.

He travels widely, lecturing and leading retreats, and he publishes both poetry and prose (publications list here – a small selection of these are available for purchase in the Wild Goose shop).

In 2011, with Paul Doran, Pádraig co-founded the storytelling event Tenx9 where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives. From 2014-2019, Pádraig led the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation.

Hailing from Cork on the south coast of Ireland, he now lives in Belfast, where he has used elements of faith, poetry, hope and truth-telling for the purpose of helping individuals tell some of their experiences of living through the Irish and other conflict situations in a way that builds curiosity and connections through simple story.

Pádraig uses skills in poetry, theology and mediation to nurture connections where fruitless and predictable arguments can be transformed into dignified and dignifying human encounters. His poetry explores the meaningful in the everyday, as well as putting some words to the wordlessness of meaninglessness. Seeking to give small lenses into everyday experiences of loneliness, hope, exile and joy, his poems are accessible and powerful. Both on the written page and in his compelling performances, his poems speak of big truths by telling small stories of humanity.

Pádraig’s blog: In The Shelter

For details of Pádraig’s public events see the events page.


To register for the retreat, follow the links ‘Full Price’ and ‘Concession’ above or contact WGRG/ Wild Goose Resource Group at weewonderbox@wildgoose.scot / phone 0141 429 7281.

Date & Time

Friday 6th (7.00-9.00pm) and Saturday 7th (9.30am – 4.00pm) December 2019



The Ground, Iona Community, Community House, 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow G5 9JP, Scotland. Press Buzzer 1 at the small gate for access to The Ground. Inside the courtyard, access is via one step. Inside there is a low-stepped ramp. We are happy to provide assistance.



wee wonderbox logo (square red box with white text)weeWONDERBOX is a programme of events organised by the Iona Community and the Wild Goose Resource Group. See the weeWONDERBOX 2019-20 listings page for more information about other events that may interest you.

0141 429 7281   |   weewonderbox@wildgoose.scot  |   www.wildgoose.scot/weewonderbox



6 December 2019 @ 7:00 pm
7 December 2019 @ 4:00 pm
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