Since 1993, The Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain & Ireland has been at the forefront of exploring the life & writings of Merton and his impact on the contemporary world, with conferences, retreats and the publication of the Merton Journal.

The focus of the Society over 2015 was the celebration of centenary of Thomas Merton's birth in France on 31st January 1915.

Oakham Conference 2016

Our 2016 Residential Conference was held at Oakham School from Friday 1st April
to Sunday 3rd April. The theme of the conference was:

Life is on our side
This phrase is taken from a letter of Thomas Merton to the poet Czeslaw Milosz.
The keynote speakers were John Dear and Fiona Gardner

The Merton Collection

Over the years the Society has built up a comprehensive collection of books, journals and volumes of letters by Merton along with a wide range of critical commentaries on Merton's work as well as recordings of talks and conferences given by Merton. The collection is now housed at St Michael's Priory, Willen outside Milton Keynes, where it may be freely consulted by all.

St Michael's Priory website          Details about the Collection          Link to the Merton Collection

See event below on 1st October

Dates for your diary

The Thomas Merton Society Library - A Celebration
Saturday 1st October 2016 - 11am until 3pm

A day of celebration and festivity to welcome the Thomas Merton Society library collection to St Michael's Priory, near Milton Keynes, Bucks. 

with a presentation by Paul Pearson

The collection has now found a permanent home! The day will include a keynote talk, readings from Merton's works and a shared celebration of the Eucharist. All are most welcome, and the day includes lunch! There is no charge for this event.  

Contact: bookings@stmichaelspriory.org.uk           St Michael's Priory details

Paul Pearson was secretary of the Thomas Merton Society from its inception in 1993
until moving to America, where he is director and  archivist of the
Thomas Merton Centre in Louisville, Kentucky.

Thomas Merton - Contemplative Writer
15th October 2016

A study day led by Stephen Dunhill at the Whirlow Spirituality Centre in Sheffield

The first half of the day will explore Merton's life and work as revealed through his writings. The second half will examine Merton's writings on prayer and contemplation, giving insights into how we might deepen our own life of prayer.

Further details

Thomas Merton's Engaged Spirituality
29th October 2016

A Day Conference and Evening Cultural Celebration held at
The Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, Edinburgh

Speakers & facilitators: Prof Mario I. Aguilar, Sister Ajahn Candasiri, Rev James Crampsey SJ, Stephen Dunhill, Dr Jim Griffin, Revd Canon John McLuckie, Fr Willy Slavin, Revd Cano Ann Tomlinson, among others.

Further details
Come Lord Jesus: An Advent Retreat
3rd December 2016

led by Paul Pearson in Winchester

 The day will start at 11am and end by 4pm. Paul Pearson was secretary of the Thomas Merton Society from its inception in 1993 until moving to America, where he is the director and archivist of the Thomas Merton Centre in Louisville, Kentucky.

Further details

Selected Recent Publications

The Only Mind Worth Having by Fiona Gardner

Thomas Merton and the Child Mind

With a forward by Rowan Williams

In The Only Mind Worth Having, Fiona Gardner takes Thomas Merton's belief that the child mind is 'The only mind worth having' and explores it in the context of Jesus' challenging, paradoxical and and enigmatic command to become like small children. She demonstrates how Merton's belief and Jesus' command can be understood as part of contemporary spirituality and spiritual practice.

Further details                      Amazon link


Our Centenary Edition of The Merton Journal, Universal Vision, is an enlarged volume of 200 pages with contributors from across Europe. It explores Merton's profound legacy in a unique collection of essays and meditations; and it also includes some of Merton's own newly-discovered student articles from his time at Cambridge University in 1933-34.  

All members receive copies of the Journal. Further copies are available for £8.99 +P&P. Contact centenary.edition@thomasmertonsociety.org.uk for further details.


Returning to Reality

by Phillip M. Thompson

Thomas Merton's Wisdom for a Technological Age

  Publisher's Details

Review by James Cronin