Lent is traditionally a time of giving things up — but the “Journeying with Christ” retreat at Parcevall Hall, in the Yorkshire Dales, explores the idea that it is also about finding something more. With the pandemic having led many people to deepen their relationship with the natural world, the Revd Ruth Harris, a former parish priest and now a spiritual director for the diocese of Leeds, will guide participants through a new look at God’s creation, and how it can inspire people to draw closer to the creator.
Facilities: 17 bedrooms, library, lounge, and 24 acres of formal and woodland gardens.
Dates: 2-4 March 2022
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 01756 720213; parcevallhall.org.uk
Parcevall HallParcevall Hall, in North Yorkshire
Holy Week on Iona
After a refurbishment, completed last summer, the Iona Community is welcoming guests for a programme of retreats and stays at the newly accessible and sustainable Iona Abbey Centre. At Easter, a five-night stay is available, offering guests the opportunity to take part in the life of the community while following the story of Holy Week through worship, stillness, and action. There will be time for creativity, quiet moments in the library, walking along sandy beaches, and discovering the island’s profusion of wildlife.
Facilities: Single, twin, three- and four-bed rooms accommodate up to 43 people. There is lift access to three adapted single bedrooms (one en-suite), adapted accessible bathrooms, and the refectory. Other facilities at the centre include a library, accessible common room, and the partly accessible Abbey Church, where the Iona Community carries out its daily programme of worship.
Dates: 13-18 April 2022
Cost: Full price £520; reduced price for those eligible (see website) £260
Contact: email@example.com; 01681 700404; iona.org.uk
Nicholaston House, in Swansea, is offering an Easter walking retreat, starting on Easter Monday. Described as “God’s House on the Gower”, this retreat centre overlooks the spectacular Oxwich Bay, and seeks to be a place of healing, restoration, and encounter with God. Its Easter Walking Week includes three six-mile walks (including some undulating terrain), plus a programme of devotions, Bible talks, worship, and a quiz.
Facilities: Six twin rooms, three singles — two with a double and single bed, one family room to accommodate up to four people, and a self-catering studio apartment with double bed. Quiet Garden and chapel within the grounds.
Dates: 18-22 April 2022
Cost: From £329
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 01792 371317; nicholastonhouse.org
Launde AbbeyLaunde Abbey and grounds, in Leicestershire
Easter with the disciples
At Launde Abbey, in Leicestershire, the new warden, the Revd Alison Myers, will lead an Easter retreat looking at ancient stories of the disciples’ experiences after the resurrection. In their dazed and incredulous state, what would they say to present-day disciples?
The retreat house dates from the 17th century, but its history goes back even further, to the Augustine priory built on the site in 1119. Surrounded by 450 acres of parkland, Launde Abbey provides a welcoming, serene environment.
Facilities: 13 single, 15 twin, and 11 double rooms, all en suite. Plus chapel, library, abbey café and bar.
Dates: 19-21 April 2022
Cost: £260 if booked before 28 February; full price £280
Contact: email@example.com; 01572 717254; laundeabbey.org.uk
MinsteracresMinsteracres, in Northumberland, which is run by a Passionist community
Pentecost prayer and praise
Minsteracres, in County Durham, has a resident community of Roman Catholic Passionist priests and lay people, and welcomes guests of all faiths or none to its historic buildings and 110-acre estate. Their Pentecost retreat focuses on the part played by the Holy Spirit in St John’s Gospel. Incorporating times of silence, prayer, praise, and discussion, the weekend is an opportunity to learn how to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Facilities: Single, twin, and double rooms provide simple, comfortable accommodation for up to 80 people. The estate consists of 110 acres, including 14 acres of woodland.
Dates: 3-5 June 2022
Cost: Suggested donation of £190
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 01434 673248; minsteracres.org
Penhurst Retreat CentrePenhurst Retreat Centre, in East Sussex
Advent was as important to the Celtic Christians as it is to us, and Penhurst Retreat Centre is highlighting the ancient traditions of this sacred season. David Cole, the author of Celtic Advent (BRF, 2018), will lead this weekend looking at Advent through the poetic eyes of Celtic faith. Penhurst is situated in a Jacobean manor house near Battle, East Sussex. Retreatants can expect home-cooked, locally sourced food, and a warm welcome.
Facilities: Six twin and one single en-suite; one single and one double not en-suite. One of the ground floor twin rooms is fully adapted for wheelchair use.
Dates: 25-27 November 2022
Cost: £310 (residential), £210 (non-residential)
Contact: email@example.com; 01424 892088; penhurst.org.uk
House of PrayerThe House of Prayer, East Molesey, in Surrey
Silent Advent retreat
A silent retreat is a profound way of reflecting on this time of preparation. The House of Prayer in East Molesey, Surrey, offers guests the space to use quiet and solitude to strengthen their relationship with God. Their weekend advent retreat, “A Pregnant Pause”, focuses on personal prayer, but every retreatant has their own individual guide, and there will be opportunities for community prayer with scripture, poetry, and music.
Facilities: Nine rooms (five en suite), conference room, library, lounge, and dining room
Dates: 2-4 December 2022
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 020 8941 2313, christian-retreat.org
Alison MacTier is the executive director of the Retreat Association, which publishes the annual Retreats handbook listing more than 160 retreats across and beyond the UK. retreats.org.uk