Why should I go on a retreat?

A retreat might be just what you need if you answer yes to any of these questions. Do you:

  • long for some quiet “me” time?
  • want to spend a weekend to develop your interests?
  • wish to know more about prayer?
  • need some time for reflection away from work or family?
  • want to deepen your spiritual life?

Retreats are for everybody – for ordinary people at any time in our lives, giving us the chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and become refreshed in a nurturing and peaceful environment. While many retreat goers seek a development or renewal in their relationship with God, you don’t need to be a churchgoer or support any religious movement to consider going on retreat. In fact, whatever their roots, most retreat centres will warmly welcome all visitors, from any faith or none, aiming both to make you feel at home and comfortable, and to help you get the most out of your time with them.

There are many styles of retreat. Some are firmly linked with a particular religious denomination or form of worship, and many others, even run at the same retreat houses, will be more ecumenical in approach. There are organised and themed retreats, as well as places to go as a private retreatant with as much or little structure as you want. Many retreats focus predominantly on prayer, meditation and contemplation, with input and guidance from a minister or trained spiritual director, and with periods – or the whole retreat – conducted in silence. Others will feature gentle pursuits, such as art, walking, poetry study, stick-making, photography, needlework – to name but a few – to help in the contemplative process. There is no pressure to take part in any activity.

Read the Association for Promoting Retreats article 'Why go on a retreat?'

Find places to go on retreat on The Retreat Association website.

The Abbey House Retreat Fund

The diocese is blessed to have a grant giving fund that supports retreat and quiet days.

Who are the funds for?

  • These funds are to support clergy and laity to attend retreats
  • The funds are primarily to distribute on a Deanery, Archdeaconry and Diocesan level for quiet days and retreats
  • Retreats may be for groups of clergy and/or laity
  • No more than two applications from any group will be considered in any calendar year
  • Applications for an individual retreat will only be considered in exceptional circumstances

Download the information and an application form below.


Retreat Fund application form

Who to contact

Ronnie Crossman, Ministry Training Team Leader


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