Restorative circles

Exploring Fear, Shame & Forgiveness

A Restorative Circle emerged from the concerns of the Ealing Abbey community and other stakeholders after Easter 2016. The circle continued until February 2017.
A Friday Restorative Circle will be organised on Friday morning once per month: 10.30am – 11.45 noon
Please contact us by email if you would like more information:

Leadership: Marina Cantacuzino, Jochen Encke

Facilitation Fridays: James LeachmanLeiah Lewis, Ambrose McCambridge and others.

Restorative circles have been developed to offer an exploration into Fear, Shame and Forgiveness and how some people have been able to travel these paths. This encounters will be ideal for anyone wanting to work in a circle of equals and explore what Fear, Shame and Forgiveness are about, in a safe, informal and relaxed environment.

It may be that some are looking for understanding, justice, retribution, revenge, help or social change. We will later be helped by experts to explore these issues too. We will be able to offer referrals to other agencies where appropriate.

Facilitation Fridays: Marina Cantacuzino, James Leachman, Jochen Encke, Leiah Lewis, Ambrose McCambridge and others.

Course Fee: none

External support: Marina Cantacuzino (founder, Forgiveness Project).
The Forgiveness Project was founded in 2004 in response to the invasion of Iraq and as a way of countering the rhetoric of retaliation so prominent at that time. Journalist, Marina Cantacuzino, set out to collect stories from victims and perpetrators who had chosen to resolve conflict through dialogue and restorative means.


Online resources

  1. Introduction: What is fear?:  Introductions, Youtube. Listening to the wisdom of former enemies (individuals, communities, and representatives of nations in conflict) who have found the courage to engage in face-to-face restorative dialogue with the person or parties that harmed them offers many profound lessons. “Naming the ‘field’ we are in”
  2. Issues and roles:  Experiencing shame: “I also have learned over the years the absolute paradox of shame and forgiveness … the less you talk about it and the more you create a safe, if not sacred place, where people feel safe enough to really go deep within themselves to bring up that energy and wisdom of the heart, if they have a need to travel the path, the journey of #forgiveness, they’ll bring it up, because they feel it’s safe.”
  1. Understanding myself in this ‘field’ of fear and shame. (Differentiated self-representation) While it might not be the right time to offer forgiveness, it is most certainly the right time to talk about our experiences in order if nothing else to draw a line under the dogma of vengeance. Narratives of hope remain an essential antidote at such bleak and uncompromising times. Youtube (Simon Baron-Cohen: ‘Zero Degrees of Empathy’ – The Forgiveness Project 2013).
    It is well to be reminded of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who warned that, “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.”

Dr. Mark Umbreit, PhD, founding director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota, explains his work in restorative justice in this documentary.

Follow Marina Cantacuzino on Twitter: