21st April was an encouraging day for Retreat House Chester. We hosted the first of our three ‘big’ events in our launch programme when we welcomed Margaret Silf to guide us in an evening on ‘Sacred in the City: finding the spiritual in the everyday’. Close to 100 people, from Chester and beyond, filled the Cathedral Chapter House, flooded in an April evening sunshine.
Margaret Silf’s work has become a significant part of a spiritual landscape. She travels extensively, at home and overseas, as she accompanies others on their spiritual journey through retreats, workshops and days of reflection. With her passion for making Christian spirituality accessible and attractive to modern pilgrims and relevant to everyday life in the 21st century, we were delighted that she came to share with us in our launch.
Delivering the evening in three parts with reflective breathing space in between, she guided us through the themes of discovering the sacred in our urban living - at home, at work and on the move. She gave us images that linger in the mind… the three-storey house suggesting the public, personal and private layers of our lives… the spent and unspent gifts… the myriad threads of our stories… the road which has brought us thus far… the double-ended wick. In the space of only an evening we were offered ways of refreshing our perspective.
The mood at the end was that it had been a good evening. We were glad too to hear of the enthusiasm people have for the Retreat House Chester venture, and to know that it’s reaching widely. If retreat is about taking some time ‘out’ to touch on something deeper, inner, spiritual, then we hope that’s what this evening was.
Signed copies of ‘Sacred in the City’ by Margaret Silf are available in Chester Cathedral gift shop while stocks last. The conversation groups running in May on themes from the book are proving popular: please contact us through our website (NB NOT the Cathedral box office) to check availability in the Tuesday groups (see Programme page for details).
Our next ‘big’ event is Saturday 18th June in Chester Cathedral, with Benedictine monk Fr Christopher Jamison on ‘Monastic Wisdom for Today’s Choices’: you can book either the morning or the afternoon or both. Please see Programme page for details.
Please note, too, where our events are taking place while we work towards opening a retreat house. You can follow our progress on our website or the newsletter which we plan to have up and running soon. Soon to come… news of our Fifteen Appeal.