Ressource 12 April, 2006

This month sees a major expansion of our activities. Not only is Second Spring (the print journal) being relaunched with our long-delayed seventh issue, but we are starting a company (ResSource) to develop further educational initiatives over the coming years, including a new art school in Oxford. Cardinal Cahal B. Daly wrote one of the warmly appreciative letters we have received in the last few days. “I wrote to you earlier to express my admiration of an early number of the journal and my sense of the great good which it has the potential to do. My admiration for the journal has not lessened, nor has the quality of its content. I think that the time is now ripe for a journal of faith and culture such as yours and I wish it God’s blessing and every success.” We invite you to comment on the new issue either by letter or in the online community pages, where articles can be discussed at length, and ideas for future issues proposed.

ResSource is directed by David Clayton, Stratford Caldecott, and Léonie Caldecott. Over the next few years we hope to offer a range of educational courses, summer schools, conferences and cultural pilgrimages in different parts of Europe, including England, Spain, Italy and France – beginning with the Shakespeare summer school at St Benet’s Hall in Oxford this summer. David Clayton’s particular project is the creation of a new kind of art school, the inspiration for which was described in his article, The Way of Beauty, in issue Four of Second Spring. Practical classes in Oxford will teach techniques of painting and drawing that have been shamefully neglected by many contemporary art schools, and ways of seeing and contemplating that are essential both to naturalistic art and to Iconography. David has trained in sight-size drawing in Florence and will be teaching this technique, while distinguished iconographers in the Byzantine and Russian tradition will be offering tuition in their own style. There will also be lectures, seminars, and excursions designed to help more people understand the spiritual and cultural importance of the visual arts in the history of Europe – and the relationship of beauty to goodness and truth.

This will not happen all at once, but over the next year or two. As we grow, we will be looking for potential students, as well as organizations and colleges that may want to join our growing association and help to shape the courses that will be offered. If any of this interests you, please don’t hesitate to write to us. We remain in close contact, also, with the G.K. Chesterton Institute, and still hope to find a permanent home for the Chesterton Library after the end of our current lease in 2008.

A new book by Stratford Caldecott is published shortly by Crossroad and distributed by Alban Books in the UK. Called The Seven Sacraments: Entering the Mysteries of God (details are on the website) it is the first of a projected three books that attempt to open up the Catholic tradition in a fresh way, reaching out beyond the existing Catholic community to people whose interest is primarily in spirituality and mysticism, and who may be coming to the Christian tradition from completely outside it. The last chapter contains a proposal for the development of new approaches to catechesis, reviving the ancient practices of mystagogy. (That is the goal, too, of a new series being offered by CTS called Deeper Christianity.)