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, the 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

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