A retreat is a planned time of spiritual refreshment, with the opportunity to
rest, unwind and pray. It offers the chance to reflect in an unhurried way on your life, your relationships, and your experience of God; to ponder the
meaning of what has happened to you, and to prepare for the future.
Retreats usually involve a good deal of silence, because many people have
discovered through the centuries that it is in quiet that they can best reach
into themselves and find the deep centre, the inner stillness where they are at peace with themselves and with the world around them. Each person has her or his own image of this inner stillness: for example, some may see it as a well from which they can draw fresh water, others as the truest part of their own being, others again as their experience of God within them.
But retreats need not necessarily be entirely silent: they may include daily
conversation with others in a group, some kind of shared activity, or a
meeting with a retreat guide. (retreats.org.uk/documents/leaflets/01_Have_you_thought_of_making_a_retreat.pdf)
This page links to a range of resources that can be used by individuals during a retreat or retreat guides who are leading a group. The resources are seperated into 3 types…
These resources have a theme such as a biblical character or story, a moment in the life of the church or a topic related to mission. Each reflection resource has a collection of material such as prayers, scripture, narrative, quotes, poems and images which can be used to create a retreat session. You are free to use as much or as little of the material within the resource as you would like. You may find associated material within the other types of resource. For example – ‘Belly of the Beast’ is a reflection resource based on Jonah and there is also a set of Jonah Prayer Stations which could be used together to create a whole day’s worth of retreat material. If you would like help with writing a reflection around a particular theme, please do contact James Fox-Robinson via anewloom.
These sets of resources are designed to help you create prayer stations on a particular theme. Prayer Stations are a great way for retreat participants to engage with creative prayer without the need to gather as a group or break the silence they may be enjoying. Some of the sets have 4 or 5 stations which are easy to set up, others are much more complicated and need props, fabric, lighting etc. All of these resources have been tried and tested with a variety of groups but feel free to adapt them or change them or do what you need to do in order for them to be most useful for your context. If you would like help with designing a set of stations around a particular topic, please do contact James Fox-Robinson via anewloom.
The third style of resource which is shared here takes a theme, a style of prayer or a spiritual discipline and explores it so that people from a diverse range of backgrounds can ‘have a go’. Each resource explains a bit about the theme before sharing material that you can use to explore the theme further for yourself or with a group of retreatants. Some of the resources can be printed and used immediately, others (such as the labyrinth resource) need more time and effort to set up so do make sure you read through fully before deciding to use them. If you would like help with creating a prayer resource around a particular spiritual discipline, please do contact James Fox-Robinson via anewloom.