About Glaston Centre
In 2007, a group of people came together to explore the formation of a centre that could offer support to visitors from all over the world, interested in the unique and diverse aspects of Glastonbury.
Elisabeth Tham, Ingelise Jensen, Morgana West, Pauline Ross and Jane Sanders set up a formally constituted Association and Glastonbury Pilgrim Reception Centre first opened its doors to the public at 1a Church Lane in 2008, its ethos to pro-actively support people of good heart and intentions from all faiths, beliefs and backgrounds.
In due course, the centre identified that not only was it supporting visitors but also resident pilgrims and responded by adapting its services accordingly. Over time, the faith and beliefs communities, plus the civic and secular communities began to recognise that this organisation was a valuable and much-needed link between the diverse individuals and organisations within the town.
In 2010, due to rapidly growing expansion, Glaston Centre Ltd (GCL) was set up to take over the existing Association and to support the expansion of the project into other fields. A new office was set up at 8a Marketplace to handle the administrative and financial aspects of the company.
The objects of GCL are to work with the energies and talented people of Glastonbury to provide Information, teaching and support for projects involved in aspects of contemporary spirituality.
In 2017, our Pilgrim Reception Team joined forces with Glastonbury Town Council and the Tourist Information Centre in a pioneering move to supply all the services required by residents and visitors to Glastonbury in a combined Glastonbury Information Centre.
This is supplied by our volunteer Pilgrim Reception Team in the Glastonbury Information Centre.
We supply information via;
We also manage the Glastonbury Therapists Forum that gives details of practising accredited therapists in the town.
We offer a range of talks, courses and workshops. Our tutors are all experienced in their fields; presenting knowledge and wisdom that is not always easily accessible or available. We also work closely with a number of universities in supporting visiting research students.
In 2011, we hosted an Academic Symposium and explored ways in which Glastonbury might usefully work with universities in exploring various aspects of contemporary life.
As a result of our findings in the seminar, we initiated a research survey into the convergence of contemporary spirituality and science.
Our longer-term aim is to identify the skills and characteristics of individuals involved in this work and from there to develop ways of sharing what we have learned with schools and universities.
We believe that there is a potential for offering consulting support to emerging new community projects. This is not yet fully operational but is a developing project and which will be expanded upon as our research activities progress.
We are involved in helping and supporting various community projects. These include those of a secular, civic and spiritual nature. We endeavour to build bridges of communication and networking between diverse organisations in Glastonbury.
Alongside the Glastonbury Unity Candle, we have worked tirelessly encouraging mutual understanding, respect and cooperation. Working under the ethos of Unity through Diversity, we have developed several events across the town with the aim of encouraging positive dialogue between disparate groups.
Unity through Diversity is an expression which has been in use for thousands of years and in essence, can be seen to imply the working together of all aspects of a community without losing the special personality and beliefs of the individual projects and people involved. We acknowledge that diverse beliefs and practices can present complex and difficult challenges creating chasms that often-times are difficult to bridge. However, rather than focus on the discordant differences, our goals are to create ‘living spaces’ where acceptance, understanding and co-existence can be found, demonstrating how together, we can live well, whilst remaining different.
Some of our own activities have included:
GCL, as a not-for-profit organisation, is supported by a combination of income from sales, in its shop in the Glastonbury Information Centre, from events organised, from administrative support delivered to various activities and from donations and funding from private individuals and institutions. We also receive support from The Glastonbury Trust.
The origins of Glaston Centre Ltd (GCL) go back to 1985 when a small group of people were inspired with the vision of re-creating Glastonbury as the great centre of learning, teaching and spirituality that it had been in the Middle Ages.
The privately owned Glastonbury Experience complex of buildings (GE) became the ideal base and over the next few years the Library of Avalon, the Isle of Avalon Foundation, the Brigid Chapel, and the Goddess Temple were established and based in the GE. At the same time, a number of other ideas were explored including a Pilgrim Reception Centre and a Sanctuary, but these were not actively taken forward.
In 1992 a new charity, the Glastonbury Trust was established with the purpose of setting up a centre offering help, guidance, teaching, training and healing on all aspects of spiritual growth and ecological awareness.
We have strong contacts in the community and these people provide positive and much appreciated voluntary help on individual projects and funding.
We are blessed with a team of volunteers who actively support individual aspects of the work we are doing. With some of our projects we retain the help of people with the specialised professional skills needed in the area in which we are operating.
Our ethos is to welcome all people of all faith, paths and beliefs without prejudice. Our Centre is not affiliated to any specific faith and has been created to celebrate and honour the diversity that abounds in Glastonbury.
- We offer practical information and spiritual support to visitors and residents of all faiths and beliefs.
- We respect the uniqueness of each tradition, and differences of practice or belief.
- We value voices that respect others, and believe that sharing our values and wisdom can lead us to act for the good of all.
- We believe that our religious, spiritual lives, rather than dividing us, guide us to build community and respect for one another.