Retreats have long been important to the Scottish Episcopal Church.
A retreat is a time to escape the clamour of daily living and slip into a quiet routine of prayer, reflection and relaxation. Island retreats are particularly effective where you are really isolated from the outside world.
You can join a led retreat as an individual (often with a particular theme), go in a small group or go as a parish group with the Rector or other group leader taking the retreat.
Many retreats are conducted in silence and retreatants are given food for thought by the leader and then ponder and reflect in the silence together or in the quiet of their own rooms but non-silent retreats can be equally effective.
At a typical retreat house retreatants join the community for morning and evening prayer, perhaps a midday eucharist and compline – a short service at the end of the day.
This routine together with fixed meal times gives space for devotional addresses by retreat leaders, discussion, sharing experiences and gentle exercise.
The escape from bombardment of email and telephone and the discipline of praying and eating together (and not having to prepare the food!) as well as the spiritual nourishment really allows you to recharge your batteries.
For further information about residential and retreat centres in Scotland please see our Retreats Handbook.
Bishop’s House, Iona
Bishop’s House is a retreat house located on the island of Iona, taking groups and individuals daily and weekly.The House, which looks out over the Sound of Iona, and nestles in the shadow of Iona Abbey, was built by Bishop Chinnery Haldane in 1894 as a house of ‘prayer, study, contemplation and Eucharist’.
The College, Millport
The College of the Holy Spirit, on the Isle of Cumbrae, combines the qualities of a Christian retreat house and a Visit Scotland Three Star guest house.The College is located beside The Cathedral of the Isles, the smallest cathedral in Britain.