What is a retreat?

A retreat is a planned time of spiritual refreshment, with the opportunity to rest, unwind and pray. It offers the chance to reflect in an unhurried way on your life, your relationships, and your experience of God; to ponder the meaning of what has happened to you, and to prepare for the future. Retreats usually involve a good deal of silence because many people have discovered, through the centuries, that it is in quiet that they can best find themselves and God. But retreats need not necessarily be entirely silent: they may include daily conversation with others in a group, some kind of shared activity, or a meeting with a retreat guide.

You may go on retreat for a variety of reasons:

  • A wish for some quiet time.
  • A need some time for reflection away from work or family. 
  • A desire to explore your spiritual life.
  • A desire to deepen your relationship with God.
  • A longing to know more about prayer.

Where would I go? 

Most retreats are residential - you go and stay somewhere quiet and apart from your usual daily life, typically in a retreat house. Retreat houses provide a peaceful atmosphere and good accommodation at a modest price.
Many are in the countryside, but there are some in towns too. For more information visit

Local Retreat centeres

Attic Retreats, Chatham

St Benedict's Centre

Retreat Association

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