The APR would like to thank NHS Staff and care-workers for their tireless care throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic.
And to say ‘thank you’, we have made a number of Bursaries available for NHS staff and care-workers to make a retreat at any of the APR Retreat Houses across the UK before April 2021.
Full details about how the scheme works, and how to apply, can be found on the Bursary page of our website.
Published in March 2020, this beautifully-produced guide offers some practical ideas to help Retreat Houses of all denominations reach out to a wider audience. These include ideas on how to best utilise online and social media promotion, as well as how to promote the value of retreat through more traditional local, regional and national channels.
Spreading the Word is available to download for free here as a pdf file, and comes with our blessings for your ongoing ministries. However, if you would like a hard copy, you can purchase one online (using Paypal) through this link, or by emailing the APR Administrator on email@example.com.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, this retreat has been postponed, and will now be held from 1st-3rd November 2021.
The retreat will cost £205 per person (or £185 per person, sharing a room), which will include all your meals. To book, please complete and return the downloadable Booking Form, with your deposit, or contact the APR Administrator who will be able to help you.
Led by APR Chair, the Revd Barry Preece, the retreat is entitled ‘Late Musings’. Barry writes, ‘I am a reflective person by nature and this retreat will be an opportunity to share thoughts about aspects of faith and life which have become increasingly important to me. With titles of talks that include “Good Enough”, “Such is the Mystery” and “Letting in the Light” you may already have an idea of what some of those things might be.
Owing to the Covid-19 situation, we have had to postpone our biennial diocesan Spirituality Advisers’ Conference, until November 27th-29th 2020. However, we hope to offer a similar programme.
Entitled ‘LOST FOR WORDS’, it will include workshops and opportunities for discussion in regional groups, as well as welcoming speakers (including Retreat Association Patron, Revd Graham Sparkes, Revd Canon Andrew Walker, and musician Janet Macdonald) who will explore how poetry, music and art can stimulate and encourage prayer.
We are hoping that a representative (or two) from every diocese in the UK will be able to attend, and have already taken more than 40 bookings.
In this new series of podcasts, entitled ‘Life, Love and Light’, medieval historian Veronica Mary Rolf will be exploring the teachings of Christian mystics to discover how they may inspire, encourage, and guide us on our own spiritual path – especially during this pandemic that produces so much fear and suffering. The Initial episode is entitled “Sheltering in Place” and introduces the anchorite Julian of Norwich as our spiritual guide.
Future podcasts (one a week, at least) will enable listeners to make “A Virtual Retreat with Julian of Norwich.” It will be a sixteen week series — to explore Julian’s sixteen Revelations of Divine Love and their direct relevance for our spiritual path through this crisis. Each episode will include a guided meditation at the end.
The podcasts can be downloaded from the Life, love and Light website.
The AGM took place on Wednesday 30th October at the Red Hill Christian Centre, Snitterfield, Stratford upon Avon.
Led by the President, Bishop John Stroyan, and supported by 15 Trustees and other APR Members, it was a day full of fellowship, prayer, good conversation and even some business! The 2019 AGM Minutes are now available to be downloaded, along with the Annual Report and Accounts 2019 (just click on these links).
The Archbishop of Canterbury invited Trustees of the APR to Lambeth recently, for a conversation about how to better promote retreats throughout the Church of England. It was a very positive meeting. Archbishop Justin spoke both of his enthusiasm for encouraging prayer, and of his support the work of the APR as we promote the benefits of both retreats and Quiet Days, and support the work of Retreat Houses across the country, and beyond. In particular, he emphasised the value to everyone in ministry of taking regular time out to nurture their own relationships with God, saying that, ‘Evangelism or witness can only be genuine when it comes from an overflow of the love of God’.
The APR website is expanding, with a range of new resources soon to be available – the first of these are already published under the tab, ‘Signposts for Spiritual Growth’. These ‘signposts’ direct readers to a wealth of top-quality pages across the internet, concerning all aspect of prayer, spiritual formation, and growth in faith.
The pages, ‘Encountering Spirituality’, will be a virtual library of documents exploring both traditional spiritualities, contemporary role models and ‘life moments and transitions’, and are due to be published soon. Later this year, we will also be publishing a ‘Marketing Tool-Kit for Retreat Centres/Houses’.
The APR autumn retreat, held at St. Columba’s House, Woking from 6-8 November, was a refreshing and prayerful event, attended by 16 people from across the UK. Lavishly illustrating his words with a range of colourful and engaging icons, Bishop John invited participants into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. He also drew inspiration from writers as diverse as St Augustine and the Desert Fathers, St Thérèse of Liseaux, C.S. Lewis and Jean Vanier.
The retreat was punctuated with meditative and prayerful services in the spacious chapel at St Columba’s, and both the food and accommodation at St Columba’s were excellent. Even the vibrant autumn colours of the trees in and around the grounds contributed to what was a really meaningful and profound experience.
A full review of the Retreat, Take off your Shoes - A Review, can be found by clicking here.
We are pleased to announce that the Rt Revd John Stroyan, Bishop of Warwick, has been appointed as our new President.
Bishop John succeeds the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, who came to the end of his term of office at the end of 2016.