Finding peace and space in the busy world of today can be truly difficult. Yet we need some time and a place to reflect and take stock of where we are; we also need to devote time to discerning the will of God for our lives.
There are many retreat centres across the country and some excellent centres in the Archdiocese of Southwark. Here is a list, not exhaustive, of these centres with links to their website and contact details. If you know of a place, not featured, that you value please let us know.
Emmaus Centre (West Wickham, Kent)
At the Emmaus Centre you can experience the peace and tranquility of a caring and prayerful atmosphere. To assist you on your inner journey, individual spiritual direction, pastoral counselling and the services of a resident chaplain are all available. In addition, each year the programme offers a variety of retreats and workshops. Times for prayer, opportunities for daily worship and an atmosphere of silence support those who seek to spend time deepening their relationship with God. http://www.emmauscentre.org.uk; 020 8777 2000.
The Friars (Aylesford, Kent)
Members of the community at Aylesford Priory are involved in working with many groups that come to The Friars during the course of the year. Some groups will ask for one of the friars to work alongside them. As well as this work the community organises a number of retreats each year which are open to anyone who wishes to participate. http://www.thefriars.org.uk; 01622 717272.
Urban Oasis (Sisters of St Andrew, Lewisham)
The Sisters of St Andrew welcome you to their ‘Urban Oasis’ situated half way between Lewisham and Blackheath. Their beautiful round ‘Oast’ House Chapel with its stained glass windows provides a space for both personal and group prayer. The large attractive garden surrounding the house which is partly landscaped and partly meadow, boasts a vegetable garden and a grass labyrinth. With easy access by public transport, as well as parking onsite. The sisters welcome individuals and groups (25 max. day - self-catering) – Up to 9 people for IGR retreats or the possibility to come just for a couple of hours/half a day/a day or an overnight, to pause, rest, reflect in silence.
The sisters are available for input / facilitation / spiritual accompaniment / self-catering retreats / retreats in daily life (19th Annotation) / supervision / and outreach by prior arrangement. http://www.sisters-of-st-andrew.com; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kairos Centre (Roehampton, London)
The Kairos Retreat Centre is situated within three acres of landscaped gardens and overlooking the historic Richmond Park. Its tranquil setting of peaceful, secluded gardens provides space to pray, space to think and space to meet.
They offer a programme of organised retreats and events which can be downloaded from their website; they also offer Spiritual Direction with both male and female spiritual directors available.
The Kairos Centre is owned and administered by the Catholic Congregation and charity, The Poor Servants of the Mother of God. http://www.thekairoscentre.co.uk/ 020 8788 4188
The Living Well (Nonington, Kent)
The Living Well is the Canterbury Diocesan Centre for Healing and Wholeness. It is based at Nonington, near Canterbury. It is a non-residential centre. The Living Well offers Deeper Healing Days and Quiet Days. http://www.the-living-well.org.uk; 01304 842847.
Minster Abbey (Minster, Thanet)
Monastic hospitality has long been recognised as a need in the Church. The Benedictine Nuns at Minster welcome those who are searching for God and provide a space to discover the presence of God in their lives. Their Guest House is situated in the grounds of the ancient abbey, and all their guests are welcome to join with the community in prayer. At Minster we try to remain open to those who come for help, guidance and friendship, and these contacts enrich our lives. There are also a number of advertised retreats. http://www.minsterabbeynuns.org/
The Retreat Association provide information on retreat centres up and down the country: http://www.retreats.org.uk/