Read report from St George's last Retreat.
What and Where? St George’s endeavours to hold a weekend away for the entire church family once a year. In recent years we have gone to the Josep Manyanet Spiritual Retreat Centre in Begues near Gava. Attendance varies between 40 and 60 people, with everyone staying on site in private en suite accommodation and enjoying 3 meals a day in the dining room. Costs are subsidized by church members, with a bursary fund available to ensure that no one is left out.
Why? Besides enjoying a weekend of rest and relaxation, disconnecting from the stresses of city life, the main purpose of the retreat is to be challenged to think afresh about aspects of our faith and to go deeper in our walk with the Lord; to discover new ways of praying and supporting each other as Christian brothers and sisters; and to worship God together in an environment of peace and tranquility closer to His Creation.
Past Highlights: In 2012, St George's returned to the Centre d’Espiritualitat Josep Manyanet in Begues on 25-27 May. Sessions were led by various members of the congregation: Rev Andrew Tweedy, on the book of Daniel; Bob Flory, on Live 58; Mariusa Reyes, on Enrique’s story; Caroline Cox, on friendship evangelism; Billie & Andrew Tweedy, on couples bringing out the best in each other; Jill Jenkins, on the Dove self-esteem course for mothers and daughters; and Billie Tweedy, on the pressure to conform.
In 2011, St George's did something different, going on a 24-hour overnight retreat on 27-28 May at La Casa de Espiritualidad Maria Immaculada in the village of Tiana, 15km from Barcelona. Read more here.
In 2010, the retreat held 7-9 May featured guest speaker Ann Morisy, a community theologian who lectures widely and leads workshops both in the UK and abroad. Ann is the author of Beyond the Good Samaritan which challenges churches to get more involved in their local communities through practical social responsibility and active, purposeful mission. Her latest book Bothered and Bewildered revisits these themes, taking into account the economic and environmental crises and the general sense of hopelessness, and she challenges the Church to “enact hope in troubled times.”
In 2008, the weekend away held 4-6 April featured 3 guest speakers from the U.K., Kevin & Ana Draper and Jenny Baker, who led sessions on creative prayer and worship and the use of Godly Play in children’s work. The highlight was creating a Prayer Labyrinth, a maze that we marked out with tape on the floor and then proceeded to walk through in silence, stopping at various stations along the way to ponder particular aspects of our lives and to centre on God. People found it enormously refreshing, creative and engaging – “a great breathing space” as one put it. This is just one example of the way we seek to use this time to help people make space for the Holy Spirit, which can sometimes get crowded out of our busy lives.