Retreat Days    

Consider The Lilies: Praying with Garden Images

Led by Sue Bennett
10 June

Images of gardens have frequently been used to help people contemplate the spiritual journey. This quiet day provides an opportunity to explore through prayer and meditation some of the transformative images of the garden found in scripture, poetry and art.
10.00–4.00pm Cost: £20. Please bring a packed lunch. Advanced booking essential.

SUE BENNETT is an historian, gardener and spiritual director. She teaches on the Encounter Spiritual Direction Course in London and is the author of ‘Five Centuries of Women and Gardens’.

Autumn's Seasonal Gifts

Led by Pat Clegg
16 September

The changing sights and sounds of Autumn provide the backdrop for today. We will engage with the natural world as metaphor to explore something of the changing scenes within each of us as the year moves from the glory that is Autumn to the darker days of Winter. There is the opportunity to be creative in your personal quiet times.
10.00–4.00pm Cost: £20 – Please bring a packed lunch. Advance booking essential.

PAT CLEGG is an Anglican priest engaged in spiritual accompaniment and leading Quiet Days. She is a visiting retreat director with the St Beuno’s team. Pat has an M.A. in Christian Spirituality and is a regular visitor to Israel/Palestine. She brings her experiences of encouraging others to hear anew familiar stories in less familiar places.

Poetry Workshop: Gathered Light

Led by Helen Overell
30 September

This creative space provides a touchstone for ideas and an opportunity to put words down on the page. The writing exercises are both individual and collaborative with opportunities for sharing within the group. The emphasis is on constructive feedback together with encouragement and support so as to allow the beginnings of poems to emerge.
10.00–4.00pm Cost: £20. Please bring a packed lunch. Advanced booking essential.

HELEN OVERELL 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).

Movements in the Soul Towards Union:
Exploring Wisdom from the Spanish Mystics

Led by member(s) of the Holy Isle Team: Julienne McLean, Judy Barber, Sister Melanie Kingston

Four linked Saturdays of teaching, creative reading and silence with writings from the Spanish Mystics:
10.00–4.00pm. Cost: £20. Please bring a packed lunch. Advance booking essential

1 April – Francesco Osuna
13 May – St Teresa of Avila
14 October – St Teresa of Avila
18 November – St John of the Cross

JULIENNE MCLEAN teaches and writes on Jungian psychology and Carmelite spirituality, as well as co-leading study retreats to Spain. She is the author of Towards Mystical Union (2003, St Paul’s), a modern commentary on St Teresa of Avila’s classic text on prayer, The Interior Castle.

JUDY BARBER is a bereavement psychotherapist. She has a background in nursing and psychology and has a particular vocation in Christian healing, meditation and Spiritual Direction. She engages in the creative practice of painting, writing and fused glass.

SISTER MELANIE KINGSTON is a member of the Religious Community who 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.


A series of six reflective days introducing a variety of ways of praying. Bookings can be made for the whole series or for individual days.

Saturdays 10am – 4pm.
£20 per day or £100 for the series.
Please bring a packed lunch.
Advance Booking essential.


Led by Jill Benet
28 January

The effects of Centering Prayer are seen in daily life. This is a one-day workshop where we can learn a powerful practice to help us deal with the ups and downs of day-to-day living and use them as a way of transforming energy and deepening our relationship with God.

JILL BENET is the London Co-ordinator for Contemplative Outreach that teaches Centering Prayer. She has studied in-depth the conceptual background and has attended several retreats led by its founder, Father Thomas Keating, as well as retreats led by Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr, among others. She has trained in the US and UK and 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.


Led by Prof. Peter Tyler
25 February

There has been much talk recently of ‘mindfulness’ as a tool to aid recovery, improve health and prevent stress. Many Christians wonder how this might relate to contemplative approaches in their own tradition. During our day together we shall explore some of these approaches, as well as practising mindfulness exercises within a Christian context.

PETER TYLER is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at St Mary's University, Twickenham. He writes and lectures extensively on Christian spirituality, especially in relation to psychology. His latest book is 'The Pursuit of the Soul: Psychoanalysis, Soul-making and the Christian Tradition' (T & T Clark, 2016). He has a regular blog: and is presently working on a book exploring the relationship between mindfulness and Christian spirituality.

“MY BELOVED IS MINE AND I AM HIS” – A day for reflecting on some of the themes of The Song of Songs (Solomon)

Led by Graeme Watson
25 March

This neglected biblical poem may be read as a song expressing the intense love between two people, and equally well as an allegorical poem celebrating the loving relationship between God and human beings. The aim of the day is to help us to be more confident of God’s unconditional self-giving love. Reading aloud, music, pictures, silent meditation, lectio divina and discussion will be used in an atmosphere of quiet reflection.

GRAEME WATSON is a retired Anglican priest. A spiritual director, he is the author of two recent books: Strike the Cloud: Understanding and Practising the Teaching of the Cloud of Unknowing , SPCK, 2011; The Song of Songs: A Contemplative Guide, SPCK, 2014. . He and his wife Liz, who live in Stoke Newington in North London, are both closely associated with the World Community for Christian Meditation.

RADICAL SIMPLICITY: The Way of Christian Meditation

Led by Liz Watson
29 April

An introduction to the way of meditation recovered for us by Benedictine monk Father John Main (1926–1982). In ‘Christian Meditation’ we seek to meet the simplicity of God through our own simple practice of repeating a prayer word in the silence of our hearts.

LIZ WATSON is a member of The World Community for Christian Meditation in the UK and has served the Community in a variety of capacities over the last 20 years. She now focuses on teaching meditation, leading weekend and seven-day retreats and offering spiritual direction


Led by Ellen Farmer
27 May

Ignatian prayer is reflective, imaginative and personal. This day will give participants the opportunity to find out more about the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius and plenty of space to experience some different ways of praying.

ELLEN FARMER is Co-Director of the House of Prayer (together with the Sisters). She works as a spiritual director, pastoral supervisor, retreat guide and facilitator. She is a tutor on the London-based Ignatian Spirituality Course.

NEWNESS, HARMONY AND MISSION: A Map of the Gospel Journey in Everyday Life

Led by Antonia Lynn
24 June

Pope Francis has described the work of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as “newness, harmony and mission”, but what does this mean for us in our everyday lives? This is a day for anyone who wants to reflect on the touch of God in their lives, to celebrate the good news of their own gospel story and consider what God’s unique call to them might be. There will be time for both quiet reflection and contemplative listening to one another, with some gentle guided prayer exercises using scripture and imagery. A day of renewal and discovery.

ANTONIA LYNN is a spiritual director, tutor, pastoral supervisor and workshop facilitator at the London Spirituality Centre, and a doctoral student with the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge. She has a particular interest in helping people discover their personal vocation, and in using creativity in her ministry. She is excited by the possibility of doing theology amid the everyday stuff of life.