Retreat Days    


Knowledge of the true life and how to live it

Led by Kate Stogdon
27 January

We will explore the wisdom of the ‘Two Standards’ exercise in the ‘Spiritual Exercises’ of St Ignatius of Loyola: ‘How do I recognize the true life and what are the ways in which I get drawn off course?’ and ‘How will asking God “for what I desire” help me?’
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

KATE STOGDON is a Cenacle Sister who lives in community in South-East London. She helps to train people in the ‘art of spiritual direction’ through teaching on the ‘Ignatian Spirituality Course’, based at the London Centre for Spiritual Direction.


Lectio Divina

Led by Bishop Richard Moth
24 February

This day introduces the practice of Lectio Divina – Praying with the Scriptures. Bishop Richard will speak about the background to this way of prayer that has been a part of the Church’s life since the earliest times and its suitability for our own times.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

BISHOP RICHARD was born in Chingola, Zambia, and brought up in Kent. He was appointed Bishop of Arundel & Brighton by Pope Francis, taking up this office in May 2015.


Life in the Fast Lane

Led by Sister Melanie Kingston
10 March

A quiet morning reflection for Lent. In every encounter Jesus saw the uniqueness, the potential, and the wounds of those he met. In this morning of quiet, prayer and reflection we allow ourselves to meet Him too.
Starts at 10am and ends at 12:30pm.
Cost: donation. Advanced booking essential.

SISTER MELANIE is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Psychosynthesis Counsellor. She is also an artist and uses watercolour, gouache, wood carving and calligraphy in her art work.


Teresa of Avila, Mindfulness and Mental Prayer

Led by Professor Peter Tyler
24 March

There is much talk today about ‘mindfulness’ and how it may or may not relate to Christian practices. During the day we shall explore some notions of mindfulness and Christian contemplation concentrating primarily on the Carmelite tradition. Teresa of Avila often talks about the need for her sisters to develop what she calls oración mental, normally translated into English as ‘mental prayer’. For reasons we shall explore, ‘mindfulness’ is not an inappropriate term for what Teresa describes.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

PETER TYLER is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. His most Peter Tyler recent publication is Confession: the Healing of the Soul (Bloomsbury 2017).


Entering the Dance of Love

Led by Antonio Benet
28 April

During this day we will explore how to recognise and participate consciously in the three-fold flow of creation.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

ANTONIO BENET is a writer and lay contemplative. He leads study groups in the UK and Spain. His books include Que Es Dios?, Ques Es La Vida?, Quien Soy? (Who Am I? is currently being translated into English). He also teaches the method of Centering Prayer and has studied with Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourgeault among others.


Gift of Life: Death and Dying – Life and Living

Led by Jill Benet
26 May

This day immediately follows the retreat week and day participants are welcome to attend.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

JILL BENET is the London Co-ordinator for Contemplative Outreach that teaches Centering Prayer. She has studied the conceptual background and has attended retreats led by its founder, Father Thomas Keating, as well as retreats led by Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr, among others. She leads groups, Introductory Days, Quiet Days and retreats. Jill is a co-founder of the Silence in the City series of talks on the contemplative life.


Surrendering to Love: The Joys and Challenges of Meditation

Led by Julie Roberts
9 June

Experiences of meditation range from being challenging and distracting to peaceful and joyous. Our attitudes, understandings and preparation will have an effect on our experience, and this Quiet Day will offer wise words, poetry and practical insights to help explore what we bring to our personal practice. The day is for both beginner and experienced meditators.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

JULIE ROBERTS works as a life coach and a spiritual companion. She leads retreats, workshops and quiet days and has authored two books. She is an active member of the World Community for Christian Meditation, leads a meditation group in Glastonbury, is Somerset Regional Coordinator and joint co-ordinator of the WCCM School of Meditation in the UK.


The Heart of Contemplation

Led by Julienne McLean
30 June

During this day retreat, we will explore some of the writings of St Teresa of Avila. We will look at her spiritual masterpiece The Interior Castle, and explore the themes of the seven mansions of the soul, contemplative prayer and spiritual transformation in God’s Love.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

JULIENNE MCLEAN is a psychotherapist and spiritual director. She also teaches and writes on Jungian psychology and Carmelite spirituality and she leads regular retreats in the UK and on Holy Island, Scotland. She facilitates a contemplative spirituality programme in North London, and is the author of Towards Mystical Union (2003, 2013 St Paul’s), The Interior Castle, a modern commentary on St Teresa of Avila.


The Mystic for Today 1

Led by Sister Melanie Kingston
28 July

There is a deep yearning for something other in today’s world, a yearning which ultimately can only be filled by God. God’s desire is for an intimate relationship with each one of us. It is called the Mystical Life. This is the first of three days in which we will explore such questions as: Are we all called to the Mystical life and what are the guidelines for living it.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

SISTER MELANIE KINGSTON is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Psychosynthesis Counsellor. She is also an artist and uses watercolour, gouache, wood carving and calligraphy in her art work.


The Mystic for Today 2

Led by Sister Melanie Kingston
15 September

There is a deep yearning for something other in today’s world, a yearning which ultimately can only be filled by God. God’s desire is for an intimate relationship with each one of us. It is called the Mystical Life. This is the second of three days in which we will explore such questions as: Are we all called to the Mystical life and what are the guidelines for living it.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

SISTER MELANIE KINGSTON is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Psychosynthesis Counsellor. She is also an artist and uses watercolour, gouache, wood carving and calligraphy in her art work.


‘Heaven on Earth’: Praying with the Paintings of Stanley Spencer

Led by Audrey Hamilton and Mary Goggin
13 October

This artist (1891–1959) lived most of his life in the village of Crookham in Berkshire, the inspiration of many of his paintings. For Stanley, heaven and earth were not separate, but rather heaven was seen as present in daily life. This day will include input on some of his works, silent prayer, reflection, and sharing.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

AUDREY HAMILTON is a member of the Mount Street Spirituality Team where she offers spiritual accompaniment and facilitates courses and retreat days. She has a keen interest in exploring the use of art in prayer and reflection.

MARY GOGGIN is a member of the Mount Street Spirituality Team where she offers spiritual accompaniment and facilitates courses. She has an interest in art and the potential of images to aid prayer.


Star-depths

Led by Helen Overell
20 October

A poetry workshop which will begin with a reading of contemporary contemplative poetry and will also draw on meditative writings of earlier times. There will be a framework of writing exercises, both individual and collaborative, providing a creative space in which words can be put on the page. There will be opportunities for sharing what is written. There will be an emphasis on constructive feedback together with encouragement and support to allow the beginnings of poems to emerge.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

HELEN OVERELL is a poet who lives in the Mole Valley and has published widely in magazines and anthologies. Her first collection is Inscapes & Horizons (St Albert’s Press, 2008) and her second is Thumbprints (Oversteps Books, 2015). Her website is: www.overell.co.uk


The Mystic for Today 3

Led by Sister Melanie Kingston
8 December

There is a deep yearning for something other in today’s world, a yearning which ultimately can only be filled by God. God’s desire is for an intimate relationship with each one of us. It is called the Mystical Life. This is the third of three days in which we will explore such questions as: Are we all called to the Mystical life and what are the guidelines for living it.
Starts at 10am and ends at 4pm. Please bring a packed lunch.
Cost: £20 - Advanced booking essential.

SISTER MELANIE KINGSTON is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Psychosynthesis Counsellor. She is also an artist and uses watercolour, gouache, wood carving and calligraphy in her art work.