What Is A 'Retreat'?

What is a retreat?  

A retreat is a breathing space, an oasis, an opportunity to listen and to be heard. We have heard it called a spiritual spa, a journey into a deeper knowledge of God, a time to just be, a time of restoration and renewal. Most of all it is an opportunity to step aside from daily life and see your life and your relationship with God from a fresh perspective.


house with crookPenhurst is a safe place, a holding place, where you have the freedom to choose how you use this precious time. You can choose to be silent, to talk to or pray with somebody , to just rest or even sleep, to explore the countryside, to write, paint, read or even to pull up weeds if you feel so inclined!

Some of you may prefer something more structured. We have a variety of  different retreats, short courses and workshops on our programme or you can ask for an accompanied retreat [see below].

As well as your personal time there will be opportunities to join with others at morning and evening prayer.

Silence

Staying silent during your retreat often helps you to focus on prayer and reflection but this is your choice. If you are sure that you would like to be in silence when you book please make that clear to us.

There are several ways of doing this:-

          We run a range of led silent retreats and quiet days throughout the year.

 

 

           we will ensure that the other guests understand this and will provide a silent table at

           mealtimes or meals in your room. 

 

Individual Retreats and Spiritual Accompaniment

Individual retreats are just that - individual. Our aim is for your stay to be as appropriate and meaningful as possible for you. If you would like it to include any particular elements that would help you to meet with God in this place then do contact us and discuss them with us before you book.

Listening and Prayer

Many people say that they find it helpful to be listened to by someone who is interested, caring, and non-judgemental. Our staff team are sensitive to individual needs and willing to support guests through confidential listening and prayer. Spiritual Accompaniment, Individually Guided Retreats or the opportunity to talk to a professional counsellor can often be arranged if discussed in advance.

Listening and Prayer Companionship

Accompanied Retreats with simple listening and prayer companionship can be tailored to your individual needs. This enables you to meet daily with someone who will be an open and accepting companion on your journey. He or she will offer encouragement and perhaps suggest methods and materials you might use as you spend time with God during your retreat. Your companion will NOT be a counsellor and may not be trained in any particular spiritual discipline.

Individually Guided Retreat

An Individually Guided Retreat [IGR] or Accompanied Retreat provides an opportunity for you to meet daily with someone who will encourage you to focus on your spiritual journey and your relationship with God whilst you are on retreat. These retreats vary depending on the 'type' of accompaniment you choose.

At Penhurst we offer some silent IGRs on our programme. These are usually Ignatian retreats led by Spiritual Directors who are trained to guide you through the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola.If you choose t come on an individual personal retreat and would like to meet with a Spiritual Director let us know before you book and we will endeavour to arrange this for you.

Groups

Group in the drive

We welcome group bookings at Penhurst both for day visits and residential stays. You can bring your own group leader or just come together for a time of rest and fellowship. You may want to come here for a retreat, a time of planning or training, an opportunity to get to know each other better or as part of an organised course such as Alpha. We have a small meeting room which has a pull down screen, comfortable seating, and a built-in loop system for the hard-of-hearing. We also have a small chapel on the second floor.

For 'whole house' residential bookings there should be a minimum of 8 in the group. For day bookings there is a maximum limit of 20.


Quiet Daysfeather filaments

Individual Quiet Days

You are welcome to visit the Centre for a Quiet Day from 10am until 4pm. These should be booked in advance as sometimes our programme is too full to accommodate extra Quiet Day guests.

Come to relax, pray, read, write, plan, study, paint, walk or just to enjoy the surroundings. If you’d like to talk or pray with somebody while you are here please be sure to request this when you book.

Quiet Days include a main midday meal and refreshments throughout the day.

To make a booking either contact us or use the booking diary

 

Group Quiet Days

Non-residential groups of up to 20 are welcome at the Centre. You can book a day visit for a group by visiting our  booking diary

'Come and Be Still' Days

You can also book a ‘Come and Be Still’ day where you bring your own sandwiches and make a donation towards the work of the Centre. To find out more about these please contact us

Led Quiet Days from our programme

These are priced separately - see Retreat programme for details