Retreats at the Bield
Taking time aside on retreat helps us realign our priorities and enables us to re-enter our world refreshed and better able to function.
Whether you come for just one day or for longer, come as you are - many of us have busy, stressful, lonely or complicated lives which may lead us to feeling God as distant or remote. At such times our prayer life can become routine or just seem like more hard work… despite this we often are searching for ways of expressing more meaning in our life, of finding ways to live with depth and with integrity. Going on retreat can help us take time to explore.
What is a Retreat?
A retreat is a response to God’s invitation to come aside and rest with him. He is the host so he is the one who plans what will happen. There will always be an unexpected element on retreat but it will be in the context of an encounter with a loving and gracious God. We all need to start our retreats very slowly, deliberately changing pace, spend more time noticing all your senses, do things more gently…
You may choose to be accompanied by a guide (IGR – Individually Guided Retreat) or you may want to undertake your retreat in your own way. If you decide during your retreat that you would like to have a session or two with someone from the ministry team that can normally be arranged – Just ask at Reception.
Individually Guided Retreats
On an individually guided retreat, your guide is there to help you listen to and find God’s presence in the circumstances of your life. You will usually have a daily meeting with your retreat guide.
Your retreat can be of varying length from 1 to 8 days. For an 8 day retreat you need to book the lodge house. Your guide is listening for the ways that God is working in your life, both during your prayer times and in your other activities. This is not counselling. Your guide will offer suggestions for prayer but will not tell you what to do.
You might like to say how you felt, what happened for you in your prayer time, how you responded to the passage – your ‘formal’ prayer time is only part of the picture – all manner of things from life, your environment your relationships may hold surprising insights into where God is moving in your experience.
To be in silence is a gift to help you focus on your time with God, prayer, the environment – to rest from social interventions (conversation, computers, mobile phones, e-mail, etc.) and concentrate on your spiritual relationship. You may notice your other senses more, and be surprised by what comes to light.
If you are accompanied on your retreat, you will have opportunity to talk with your guide, take part in worship services and if there are any concerns to raise them with your guide who will do his/her best to serve your needs.
You may choose to be in silence or part-silence during your retreat. You may wear a 'Silence' badge available from reception and others around you at the Bield will know that you are in silence.