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Prayer: An evening with Stephen Jenkinson and Dr. Martin Shaw

June 15, 2024 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

New Date: SATURDAY JUNE 15th, 2024  TOTNES, DEVON – UK

(doors open 6:30pm – START 7pm-8:30pm)


It’s not all begging and pleading – though these are times fit for both.
There are prayers for day and night, and for the seam where they part.
Prayer has octane, and consequence and cadence.
And it needs a spirit’s understanding. And a steady nerve.

On this night there’ll be two older men with time in the trenches of supplication,
who’ll make a joining of the hands,
who mean to raise up some understanding,
Who’ll for a time do prayer’s work.

Stephen Jenkinson
Founder of Orphan Wisdom

Below are passages from a newsletter from Stephen, on Mar 29, 2024. (I’M NOT ENTIRELY DONE)

A certain reversal of fortune has found me, wrenched my plans for myself out of symmetry. It’s medical, with a kite’s tail of consequence. I’d had a feeling for a while, which is why whenever any of you who I met on the Nights of Grief and Mystery asked about the school I tended to equivocate about the thing. I didn’t know if I’d be able to follow through on the commitment.

But I don’t feel entirely done, and so we’ll open the doors for an evening of conversation around Prayer with a dear friend Martin Shaw

To know the moment that you’re in, and mobilize accordingly: that’s where grace and style and eloquence are born.
Once there, though, it’s work to find where desperation gives way to urgency, urgency to purpose, and purpose to limit.
Karaoke’s unbecoming when elegance and elegies are called for.
There’s wrangling now to be done.
Not much of an invitation, I’ll grant you. But there it is.
Let’s find out what we’ve got, what we really know.

Stephen Jenkinson
Founder of Orphan Wisdom School


Note: we’ve switched dates and venue to make more tickets available.



Dr. Martin Shaw is a writer, storyteller and mythologist. Award-winning author of seventeen books, his most recent, Bardskull, was Guardian Book of the Day and described by the Sunday Times as “rich and transgressive.” He is a wilderness rites of passage guide and spent four years living in a tent. Shaw founded the Oral Tradition and Living Myth courses at Stanford University and is described by the Irish Times as an “interloper from the medieval.” An Eastern Orthodox Christian, over the last twenty-five years Shaw has introduced thousands of people to myth and how it speaks to our age. He is widely published: Orion, The Sun, Mississippi Review, Poetry International and many others. His conversation and catalogue with Ai Wei Wei was published by the Marciano Arts Foundation.

Photo by Sydney Woodward


CULTURE ACTIVIST, WRITER, FARMER Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School.

With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), he has worked extensively with dying people and their families, is a former programme director in a major Canadian hospital and former assistant professor in a prominent Canadian medical school. Stephen is the subject of the National Film Board of Canada feature length film documentary, Griefwalker. He is the author of six books including award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul (2015). In 2015, he created Nights of Grief & Mystery with singer-songwriter Gregory Hoskins.

Photo by Krzysztof Powierża



June 15, 2024
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Orphan Wisdom


St Mary’s Church
9 High St
Totnes, Devon TQ9 5NN United Kingdom
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