Living in Canterbury at FISC

  Canterbury is situated in Kent, the Garden of England.  A small city by today's standards, it is rich in history and central to the spiritual life of England.  After Thomas a Becket's murder in 1170 it soon became the destination of thousands of pilgrims.  The cathedral expanded to become one of the most renown in Europe.  Recognising Canterbury as the ecclesiastical centre of England, the Franciscan Friars made it the site of their first community when they arrived in September 1224.  Canterbury is also the site of the principal campuses of the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.  Despite its attraction to pilgrims, historians, students and tourists, Canterbury has retained the charm of its medieval past.  London is only 60 miles from Canterbury, and the train and coach service to London and beyond add to the many reasons why Canterbury is an ideal place to live and study.

The Franciscan International Study Centre (FISC) is situated on a hilltop overlooking Canterbury.  It is a 30-minute walk or only a few minutes by bus to the city centre, and busses run frequently due to the FISC's proximity to the University of Kent.  The University Medical Centre is adjacent to the FISC campus that is otherwise surrounded by woods and green.  The FISC is known for the serenity and peacefulness of its campus.

Participants in the Resident Spiritual Direction Training (RSDT) programme are accommodated in two blocks on the Centre's campus that accommodate 8-9 people.  All the rooms are en suite and each block has a common kitchen and lounge.  Facilities also include a washing machine and dryer, and there is wifi access in every building on the campus.

All the input sessions of the RSDT programme take place in the main building of the FISC.  The main meal of the day (Monday through Friday)  is shared with the larger FISC community at 12.45 in the Centre's refectory. Breakfast and the evening meal is served in the accommodation blocks.  In one of the blocks there is a private oratory where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.  Morning prayer (Monday through Friday) is part of the RSDT programme.  Participants of the programme are invited to join the scheduled prayer in the Centre chapel:  daily Eucharist, morning and evening prayer, Eucharistic devotion on Sunday evening.

Evenings and weekends are free time.  In the past most of the participants of the programme have used this time for reading and reflection and keeping apace with the demands of the programme.  Some manage an occasional weekend in London or another place of interest in England.