Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is a way of meeting with someone – a spiritual director or guide – to share your thoughts and reflections about your faith. You may experience spiritual direction while on retreat, you may also meet with a spiritual director regularly throughout the year.

A spiritual director is someone who has specific skills in:

  • listening
  • helping you to reflect more deeply about your faith journey
  • helping you to reflect on your relationship with God.

The most important thing is to find a spiritual director with whom you feel comfortable.

Spiritual direction is open to anyone wishing to explore their faith journey. There are no expectations or special requirements, just an interest in sharing your story with another person. You usually meet with your spiritual director every 6 – 8 weeks for about an hour.

Day Retreats

A day retreat is a gentle introduction for new comers to retreats.

During the day there will be:

  • input from the leader on the theme they have chosen
  • time for you to reflect on your own, in a way that feels helpful to you (reading, walking, resting etc)
  • refreshment breaks

At the end of the day there will be the chance to worship and share your experiences with the group.

Day retreats are open to anyone and may be particularly helpful if:

  • you have never been on a retreat before, or
  • you are limited for time.

Weekend retreats

Most groups arrive at their retreat on the Friday evening to allow plenty of time to settle into their accommodation, and socialise on the Friday evening in readiness for Saturday morning. However, it is possible to arrive on the Saturday and still take a full part in the weekend programme.

Before departing on a retreat, Fr Gary or Fr Andrew will construct a programme for the weekend.

There are two areas of input for the programme, the first of which is a timetable of worship for the weekend which is offered by the place to be visited. The second area of planning is the worship that a group will organise for itself (this may include The first visit and tour of the venue, Stations of the Cross, Intercessions, a Mass celebration for the group) but this is specially planned around the group going.

Weeklong Retreats

The longer retreats give the retreatant an opportunity to further explore their faith, with more time, space and tranquillity. As with the weekend retreats, they are specially planned around the people in the group. Fr Gary and Fr Andrew take special care to prepare retreatants spiritually and practically for the experience of a retreat. They will organise a meeting before departure for everyone involved and ensure that all are encouraged to think about the retreat and what they hope to enter with and what they hope to come away with.

Some places offer courses as part of the retreat, such as Icon painting for beginners, “In Vino Veritas” weekends (attendance of matins and vespers mixed with tastings of Chilean and Argentinean wines and a discussion of the significance of wine in the Bible), candle making, talks on women in scripture, spiritual walks (rambles interspersed with pauses for prayer and reflection).

If there is interest, we hope to hold a couple of day retreats, a weekend retreat and a week-long retreat each year. For these to happen, we will require advance booking of places and a deposit paid at the time of booking. The full amount of the retreat will have to be paid a month before the retreat date, (payment can be in instalments – contact the parish office to discuss).

Previous parish retreats have taken place at:

Turvey Abbey –
Our Lady of Walsingham –
Bruges – St Andrews Abbey in Bruges –
L’Abbaye du Bec Hellouin in Normandy –
Rostrevor – Holy Cross Abbey,
Rome – Tre Fontane (Three Fountains) A contemplative monastery in the heart of

What is a retreat?

A retreat is exactly what it sounds like – the chance to step aside from life for a while, to get away from the normal everyday pressures and have an opportunity to rest and just ‘be’ in a welcoming peaceful place.

Retreats offer the opportunity to:

  • Reflect
  • Pray
  • Worship

in peaceful and comfortable surroundings

How long is a retreat?

A retreat varies – it can be

  • a day
  • a weekend
  • a week
  • or longer.

Is a retreat for you?

Do you:

  • wish for some quiet time?
  • need some time for reflection away from work or family?
  • want to deepen your spiritual life?
  • long to know more about prayer?

…then a retreat might just be for you