What is a retreat?

A retreat is a planned time of spiritual refreshment giving you the opportunity to rest, unwind, and explore your spiritual life through reflection and prayer.  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 involve a good deal of silence because many people have discovered, through the centuries, that it is in the quiet that they can best find themselves and God. 

A guided retreat will often have a theme, with a leader giving short presentations and resources to provide guidance and structure to each day.  It may also include (optional) daily conversation with others in a group, some kind of shared activity, or individual meetings with a retreat guide.

Alternatively, you can also choose to simply spend a few days on your own at a retreat venue of your choice.

Where would I go? 

Most guided 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.   

The Current, newsletter of the Diocesan Spirituality Network, also lists a number of events and venues.  While recent events have been cancelled in view of the Covid-19 situation, as restrictions are eased you may want to check with the venues and organisers to see what is on offer. For more information visit

Online retreats

During the lockdowns, individual online guided retreats have been organised and made available by the Diocese's Coordinator of Spirituality, Rev Canon Susanne Carlsson.  These will continue to be offered in the foreseeable future.

The recommended length of such a retreat is 4-5 days, but longer retreats might be possible as well. You will be encouraged to put aside some time each day for prayer and given the opportunity to reflect for 20-30 minutes on your prayer experience with a spiritual accompanier.

You will receive contact details for your spiritual accompanier in an email so that you can contact each other and make arrangements. He or she will then make contact with you at a pre-arranged time, online or by phone.  They will also suggest scripture passages or other resources such as pictures, for you to use for your prayer.

If you would like to find out more or to book a retreat, please contact Susanne Carlsson,

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