Retreats     


A retreat is the chance to step aside from the rush of everyday life, to rest and just be in a welcoming, peaceful place. A retreat can be a journey into a deeper love of God. At the House of Prayer we hope to offer you a retreat suitable for your individual needs.

Retreats are for ordinary people at any time in their lives. There are no expectations on anyone coming on retreat and you don't need to be a churchgoer. You may simply want some quiet time or time for reflection away from work or family. You may want to deepen your spiritual life and to explore ways of prayer and silent meditation.

Whatever your personal reasons, at The House of Prayer we hope to offer you a retreat suitable for your individual needs. There are different opportunities available to make a short or long personal retreat with access to spiritual direction if you so wish. Or you can join us on one of our themed retreats.


PERSONAL RETREATS


Quiet Days

Spend a quiet day on your own in the peace and silence of the house. Please let us know when you book whether you require spiritual direction. Please bring a packed lunch - tea and coffee is provided.
Suggested Donation: £20 (plus £15 per session of Spiritual Direction).
10.00am - 4.00pm


Breathing Space

Draw aside from the noise and busyness of your daily life and experience some peace and quiet. We offer a 24 hour midweek stay (Tuesday - Thursday).
Cost £60, Full board or £30 Self-catering (plus £15 per session of Spiritual Direction, if required).
Please contact us to arrange.


THEMED RESIDENTIAL RETREATS


Reviewing the old and greeting the new

Led by Audrey Hamilton and Rachel Spence
31 December 2017 – 1 January 2018

The evening of 31st December will be a prayerful reflection on the passing year, moving into welcoming the New Year in prayer. On the morning of New Year’s Day we will prayerfully consider what God might be inviting us to as we step into a new beginning. There will be some input, times of guided prayer, and silent prayer.
Arrival 6.00pm, in time for supper; departure 2.30pm, after lunch
Simple meals provided
Cost £75 – Advance booking is 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.

RACHEL SPENCE offers spiritual accompaniment, both to individuals and in group retreats. She has a particular interest in exploring contemplative approaches to prayer and in encouraging inter-faith, and no-faith, connections and conversations.


Epiphany Retreat: Challenged by a Child

Led by Sister Anne Dunne and Sister Melanie Kingston
5 - 7 January

In our sophisticated and often violent world, this retreat invites us to explore what message the Epiphany story has of God choosing to appear as a vulnerable child.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7.00pm and leave on Sunday at 4.00pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.

SISTER ANNE DUNNE is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a Spiritual Director, Psychosynthesis Counsellor and Supervisor and works with the medium of clay in her art work.

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.


Exploring the Welcome Prayer Practice

Led by Jill Benet
9 - 11 February

Sometimes called “consent on the go” the Welcome Prayer, as described by Rev Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, “is a powerful path for connecting the inner consent of Centering Prayer with the outer requirement of unconditional presence in daily life”. We will introduce the method of the Welcome Prayer as well as have additional time to practise. There will also be extended periods of Centering Prayer and Silence.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7.00pm and leave on Sunday at 4.00pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.


The Paradox of the Margins

Led by Chris Bemrose and Mike Mullins
16 - 18 February

What does it mean to be on the margins – or in the centre? We will explore the margins as paradoxical places of transformation using nature and our lives as guides on the way. We will explore how we are renewed from the margins, and how wholeness involves integrating what is excluded from the centre.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7.00pm and leave on Sunday at 4.00pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.

CHRIS BEMROSE is a former general Secretary and Community Leader in L’Arche (intentional faith communities based around the needs and gifts of people with learning disabilities). He is also a Quaker and is curating a museum of the margins (spiritofthemargins.org).

MIKE MULLINS is a leadership development facilitator, psychologist and coach.


Praying with the Spanish Mystics I

Led by Julienne McLean and Judy Barber
17 - 18 March

First of three linked weekend retreats of silent prayer, teaching and creative reflection on writings from the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.
Arrive on Saturday at 10.30am and leave on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Cost £110 – Advance 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.

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


Creative Weekend: Touching the Soul

Led by Sister Melanie Kingston and Revd. Pippa Ross-McCabe
20 - 22 April

The urge to be creative lies in all of us; it is a God-given power which we can develop or that can lie dormant. This weekend will be an opportunity to explore ways in which we can tap into the/our creativity within.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.

PIPPA ROSS-MCCABE is an Anglican priest, artist and teacher based in Surrey. She has thoroughly enjoyed (and been surprised by) the adventures and discoveries which her own journey-with-God has yielded, and she looks forward to sharing some of that learning on a retreat which gives space for slowing down and artistic play.


Finding Fulfilment: In Search of the Unknowable

Led by Jill & Antonio Benet and Jacqueline Evans
4 - 6 May

‘Finding Fulfilment’ retreats are based on the Wisdom way of working. The weekend will follow a rhythm consisting of extended periods of Centering Prayer and study sessions on the Law of Three, which enables us to discern the true nature of reality and there will be experimentation with the embodying principles of Alexander and the practice of conscious work. We will look at three aspects of ourselves – body, mind and spirit – to discover what stops us being fully open and available.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.

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.

JACQUELINE EVANS is a retreat leader and a teacher of Alexander Technique who has a private practice and trains teachers at the Bristol Alexander School.


Weekend Silent IGR (Individually Guided Retreat): Draw Closer to God

Led by the House of Prayer Community
11 - 13 May

This retreat provides an opportunity to step aside from the busyness of everyday life and spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. A retreat guide will be available for daily individual meetings to accompany you through the retreat. Above all, this retreat is a time of listening to God who is present in the experiences of prayer and daily living.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.


Gift of Life: Death and Dying – Life and Living

Led by Jill Benet
20 - 25 May

On this Retreat we shall be exploring the gift of life in all its phases, even those of diminishment and death, as phases of evolution and transformation through Christ, using the DVD series with Thomas Keating OCSO. The retreat will be held mostly in silence with extended periods of Centering Prayer and with ample time for personal reflection.
Arrive on Sunday in time for supper at 6pm and leave on Friday at 3pm.
Cost £400 – Advance 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.


Centering Prayer and Alexander Technique

Led by Jacqueline Evans and Sister Anne Dunne
1 - 3 June

Alexander Technique lets me discover and let go of tensions and resistance that hold me back from being open and available to the Ultimate Reality. This retreat offers techniques for quietening the nervous system and calming the breath during Centering Prayer, as well as how to carry the openness of meditation into life away from the prayer mat.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.

JACQUELINE EVANS is a retreat leader and a teacher of Alexander Technique who has a private practice and trains teachers at the Bristol Alexander School.

SISTER ANNE DUNNE is a member of the Religious Community and lives at the House of Prayer. She is a Spiritual Director, Psychosynthesis Counsellor and Supervisor and works with the medium of clay in her art work.


Centering Prayer Immersion Weekend

Led by Jill Benet
15 - 17 June

This weekend offers the opportunity to spend time in silence with a small group and deepen the experience of Centering Prayer. This Retreat is suitable for those who are familiar with and are establishing their practice of Centering Prayer as well as experienced practitioners.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.


Praying with the Spanish Mystics 2

Led by Julienne McLean and Judy Barber
7 - 8 July

The second of three linked weekend retreats of silent prayer, teaching and creative reflection on writings from the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.
Arrive on Saturday at 10.30am and leave on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Cost £110 – Advance 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.

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


An 8-Day Silent IGR (Individually Guided Retreat)

Led by the House of Prayer Community
13 - 22 July

This retreat provides an opportunity to step aside from the busyness of everyday life and spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. A retreat guide will be available for daily individual meetings to accompany you through the retreat. Above all, this retreat is a time of listening to God who is present in the experiences of prayer and daily living.
Arrive on Friday 13 in time for supper at 7pm, and leave on Sunday 22 after breakfast.
Cost £560 – Advance booking essential.


Waiting at the Well: A Retreat for Spiritual Directors

Led by Led by: Antonia Lynn and Ellen Farmer
21 - 23 September

What a privilege and joy it is to accompany others, but the journey can sometimes be tiring. What wearies us in our ministry? What do we thirst for? This is a weekend for reflection; a time to consider our need for rest, refreshment and renewal and, as Ignatius says, to ‘ask for what we desire’.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.

ANTONIA LYNN is a spiritual director, tutor, pastoral supervisor and workshop facilitator at the London Centre for Spiritual Direction, and a doctoral student with the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge. She has an 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.

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.


Finding Fulfilment: Life is only real when I am

Led by Jill & Antonio Benet and Jacqueline Evans
5 - 7 October

‘Finding Fulfilment’ retreats are based on the Wisdom way of working. The weekend will follow a rhythm consisting of extended periods of Centering Prayer, study sessions on the Law of Three, experimentation with the embodying principles of Alexander and the practice of conscious work. When we let go of habitual ways of thinking we become receptive to whatever is being offered to us in this moment. We are awakened to the spiritual impressions of Faith, Hope and Love.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.

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.

JACQUELINE EVANS is a retreat leader and a teacher of Alexander Technique who has a private practice and trains teachers at the Bristol Alexander School.


Centering Prayer Intensive Retreat

Led by Jill Benet
21 - 28 October

This retreat is an experience of integrating contemplation and action through silence, solitude and community. Recommended for those who have attended an Introductory Workshop and who have been practising Centering Prayer for at least six months.
Arrive on Sunday in time for supper at 6pm and leave on Sunday after breakfast.
Cost £560 – Advance 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.


Centering Prayer Immersion Weekend

Led by Jill Benet
2 - 4 November

This weekend offers the opportunity to spend time in silence with a small group and deepen the experience of Centering Prayer. This weekend is suitable for those who are familiar with and are establishing their practice of Centering Prayer as well as experienced practitioners.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 3pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.


Weekend Silent IGR (Individually Guided Retreat): Draw Closer to God

Led by the House of Prayer Community
9 - 11 November

This retreat provides an opportunity to step aside from the busyness of everyday life and spend time in quiet prayer and reflection. A retreat guide will be available for daily individual meetings to accompany you through the retreat. Above all, this retreat is a time of listening to God who is present in the experiences of prayer and daily living.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance booking essential.


Praying with the Spanish Mystics 3

Led by Julienne McLean and Judy Barber
17 - 18 Nov

The third of three linked weekend retreats of silent prayer, teaching and creative reflection on writings from the Spanish Mystics, Francisco de Osuna, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross.
Arrive on Saturday at 10.30am and leave on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Cost £110 – Advance 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.

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


A Retreat for Advent

Led by Audrey Hamilton
30 Nov - 2 Dec

“Welcoming the Word” – this is the Word that we will soon be celebrating as being made flesh and dwelling amongst us. Using Scripture and poetry we will explore our own longings and how they are satisfied by the Word from whose fullness we all receive, grace in return for grace.
Arrive on Friday in time for supper at 7pm and leave on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost £160 – Advance 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.