Feb
1
to Feb 1

Reflective Chester

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City dwelling is about finding our way in a place full of people, full of buildings, full of activity and challenge. We can keep our heads down, our phones on, our pace speedy, our doors closed. Or we can choose a different response to the city, even if only sometimes: a slower pace, fresh perspectives, new connections. Now and again, we can take our time in the city. Reflective Chester is a year-long programme of ways to do this: watch this space - it’s coming soon!

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Mar
4
10:30 AM10:30

A Short Retreat

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Find quiet time and slow down on this short day of retreat in the city - with simple input drawing gently and deeply on Christian spirituality, resources, shared time and your own time.  We will start the day with guided reflection and silence, and close with shared conversation.  For the time in between there will be resources for you to choose if you wish, as you use our rooms in Abbey Square, or wander to the Cathedral, its grounds, or into the city.

In March, we will use the season of Lent as our inspiration, and how the wilderness of the desert can be a place which restores us. At the start of the week in which Lent begins, come and prepare for the season here.

10.30am – 2.30pm           9 Abbey Sq

£12 (advance booking) including tea / coffee (but please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally)             

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Mar
5
to Apr 9

Lent Retreat in Daily Life: conversation mornings

W777 Photography by Will Hay

W777 Photography by Will Hay

Ever felt you need a retreat but don’t have the time? This series of conversation mornings is an opportunity to make a retreat in Lent. To start our conversation, these mornings will use material from the Lent 2019 retreat in daily life designed by the Jesuits (who run nearby retreat house St Beuno’s in North Wales) and inspired by a way of finding God in all things. The retreat provides daily readings, prayer and reflections (online) for your own use if you wish, and these mornings will be a chance for reflective conversation with others in a gentle setting around our responses to the week’s material - whether we are using it on a daily basis on our own, or whether we are dipping in every few days, or whether we are touching base once a week - enabling us to explore and develop our response and benefit from hearing others. Each session will also hold a time of silence and some gentle prayer. We would hope that you can attend at least four of the six mornings. Please feel welcome to get in touch if you would like more information before booking - but please be aware that early booking is advised.

weekly Tuesdays: March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th; April 2nd, 9th

10.30am (arrive from 10.15am) - 12.00

9, Abbey Square

£30 for the series (advance booking, please)

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Mar
7
to Apr 11

Lent Retreat in Daily Life: conversation evenings

W777 Photography by Will Hay

W777 Photography by Will Hay

Ever felt you need a retreat but don’t have the time? This series of conversation evenings is an opportunity to make a retreat in Lent. To start our conversation, these evenings will use material from the Lent 2019 retreat in daily life designed by the Jesuits (who run nearby retreat house St Beuno’s in North Wales) and inspired by a way of finding God in all things. The retreat provides daily readings, prayer and reflections (online) for your own use if you wish, and these evenings will be a chance for reflective conversation with others in a gentle setting around our responses to the week’s material - whether we are using it on a daily basis on our own, or whether we are dipping in every few days, or whether we are touching base once a week - enabling us to explore and develop our response and benefit from hearing others. Each session will also hold a time of silence and some gentle prayer. We would hope that you can attend at least four of the six evenings. Please feel welcome to get in touch if you would like more information before booking - but please be aware that early booking is advised.

weekly Thursdays: March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th; April 4th, 11th

7.15pm (arrive from 7pm) - 8.45pm

9, Abbey Square

£30 for the series (advance booking, please)

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Mar
13
10:00 AM10:00

Peace Day

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

These 'Peace Days' draw on a mindful attention to the rhythm of a day, to help us find rhythm and balance in our living and perhaps greater clarity on what matters to us.  With less shared reflection than our Short Retreats, but shaped around three short times together and plenty of time to stay in the house or wander out, these days are perfect for when you are looking for your own quiet time.

from 10am coffee for 10.30am start - 3.15pm (if you would like to be here for just part of the day, just let us know)  9 Abbey Square

£12 inc tea / coffee (please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally) - advance booking only

 


 

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Mar
16
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: How on earth do I pray? A day on ways

image: Aleta Doran Mosaics

image: Aleta Doran Mosaics

There are many ways to pray, but often we limit prayer to ways which end up limiting our experience of God. Today we will explore four ways to pray, drawn from Christian spirituality, as well as centring ourselves in silence: meditative reading; using our imagination; using our senses and surroundings; and reflection. In a gentle setting, with explanation and guidance and prayerful times, come and find out what can help you in your encounter with the Divine. Led by Retreat House Chester, in 9 Abbey Square.

10.30am - 4pm (please note this is longer than our usual Saturdays)

9 Abbey Square

£25 or £20 (please choose your rate) - tea and coffee provided, but please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally

advance booking only

On Sunday afternoon, there is the chance to meet with one of our retreat guides one-to-one for a conversation to follow up Saturday’s experience, for those who wish. Please book in advance (£10 for 30 minutes).

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Mar
20
10:00 AM10:00

Craft Workshop: card stitching for Spring

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On the first day of Spring, join us round the table for coffee, cake and the absorbing craft of simple card stitching. You’ll have a choice of greetings cards with pre-made holes and a range of threads, and a little guidance and help: all you need to add is your time and enjoyment! No expertise expected!

10am - 12.30

9, Abbey Square

£10 (advance booking)

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Apr
13
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: Christian Meditation

image: Aleta Doran Mosaics

image: Aleta Doran Mosaics

led by David McKenna, World Community of Christian Meditation

This day will provide both an introduction to, and experience of, Christian Meditation, along with an outline of the World Community of Christian Meditation (WCCM). The roots of the World Community lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity dating back to the 4th century, and WCCM was formed in the twentieth century to nurture and share the practice of meditation, with an emphasis on combining the contemplative and active dimensions of life.

“Meditation is a universal spiritual wisdom and a practice found at the core of all the great religious traditions, leading from the mind to the heart. It is a way of simplicity, silence and stillness… It is only necessary to be clear about the practice and then to begin – and to keep on beginning.” (WCCM)

10.30am - 3pm

9, Abbey Square (please note venue: places are limited)

£25 or £20 (please choose your rate) - tea and coffee provided but please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally

advance booking only

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Apr
16
10:00 AM10:00

Peace Day

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

These 'Peace Days' draw on a mindful attention to the rhythm of a day, to help us find rhythm and balance in our living and perhaps greater clarity on what matters to us.  With less shared reflection than our Short Retreats, but shaped around three short times together and plenty of time to stay in the house or wander out, these days are perfect for when you are looking for your own quiet time.

from 10am coffee for 10.30am start - 3.15pm (if you would like to be here for just part of the day, just let us know)  9 Abbey Square

£12 inc tea / coffee (please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally) - advance booking only

 


 

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Apr
26
10:30 AM10:30

A Short Retreat

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Find quiet time and slow down on this short day of retreat in the city - with simple input drawing gently and deeply on Christian spirituality, resources, shared time and your own time.  We will start the day with guided reflection and silence, and close with shared conversation.  For the time in between there will be resources for you to choose if you wish, as you use our rooms in Abbey Square, or wander to the Cathedral, its grounds, or into the city.

In April, we will use the Easter story to help us consider how we might encounter the Divine.

10.30am – 2.30pm           9 Abbey Sq

£12 (advance booking) including tea / coffee (but please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally)             

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Feb
13
10:00 AM10:00

Peace Day

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

These 'Peace Days' draw on a mindful attention to the rhythm of a day, to help us find rhythm and balance in our living and perhaps greater clarity on what matters to us.  With less shared reflection than our Short Retreats, but shaped around three short times together and plenty of time to stay in the house or wander out, these days are perfect for when you are looking for your own quiet time.

from 10am coffee for 10.30am start - 3.15pm (if you would like to be here for just part of the day, just let us know)  9 Abbey Square

£12 inc tea / coffee (please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally) - advance booking only

 


 

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Cathedral Contemplative Prayer
Feb
11
7:30 PM19:30

Cathedral Contemplative Prayer

Usually the second Monday of each month, joining with Chester Cathedral in a time of silence with simple input.

7.30pm St Anselm’s Chapel, Chester Cathedral

no need to book - just come along         

Please note: Entrance to St Anselm's Chapel for these evenings is through the archway into Abbey Square, not through the Cathedral main entrance.  Someone will be at the archway with directions until about 7.25pm.  

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Dec
12
10:00 AM10:00

Peace Day

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

These 'Peace Days' draw on a mindful attention to the rhythm of a day, to help us find rhythm and balance in our living and perhaps greater clarity on what matters to us.  With less shared reflection than our Short Retreats, but shaped around three short times together and plenty of time to stay in the house or wander out, these days are perfect for when you are looking for your own quiet time.

from 10am coffee for 10.30am start - 3.15pm (if you would like to be here for just part of the day, just let us know)  9 Abbey Square

£10 inc tea / coffee (please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally) - advance booking only

 


 

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Dec
5
12:00 AM00:00

Midweek Peace

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

At the heart of Retreat House Chester is peace.  Through November and into December we will pilot a time of peace at the heart of the week.  Call in on a Wednesday lunchtime between 12 and 1.30 (in your lunchbreak?) to spend some quiet time in our new reflective space.  ‘Peace to this house; to those who enter, to those who dwell here, to those who depart – Peace.’ 

Donations welcome.

12 - 1.30pm  9 Abbey Square

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Nov
28
12:00 AM00:00

Midweek Peace

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

At the heart of Retreat House Chester is peace.  Through November and into December we will pilot a time of peace at the heart of the week.  Call in on a Wednesday lunchtime between 12 and 1.30 (in your lunchbreak?) to spend some quiet time in our new reflective space.  ‘Peace to this house; to those who enter, to those who dwell here, to those who depart – Peace.’ 

Donations welcome.

12 - 1.30pm  9 Abbey Square

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Nov
21
12:00 AM00:00

Midweek Peace

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

At the heart of Retreat House Chester is peace.  Through November and into December we will pilot a time of peace at the heart of the week.  Call in on a Wednesday lunchtime between 12 and 1.30 (in your lunchbreak?) to spend some quiet time in our new reflective space.  ‘Peace to this house; to those who enter, to those who dwell here, to those who depart – Peace.’ 

Donations welcome.

12 - 1.30pm  9 Abbey Square

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Nov
20
10:30 AM10:30

Creative Workshop: Craft for Christmas

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Join us for an absorbing time of crafting for Christmas. We’ll provide all the bits and bobs - including these beautiful papers - to make your own Advent and Christmas wreath, so you can enjoy a couple of hours seeing what happens! Refreshments too - and all in a lovely setting.

£10 - please book

10.30am - 12.30

9 Abbey Square

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Nov
16
10:00 AM10:00

Peace Day

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

photo: W777 Photography by Will Hay

These 'Peace Days' draw on a mindful attention to the rhythm of a day, to help us find rhythm and balance in our living and perhaps greater clarity on what matters to us.  With less shared reflection than our Short Retreats, but shaped around three short times together and plenty of time to stay in the house or wander out, these days are perfect for when you are looking for your own quiet time.

from 10am coffee for 10.30am start - 3.15pm (if you would like to be here for just part of the day, just let us know)  9 Abbey Square

£10 inc tea / coffee (please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally) - advance booking only

 


 

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Cathedral Contemplative Prayer
Nov
12
7:30 PM19:30

Cathedral Contemplative Prayer

Usually the second Monday of each month, joining with Chester Cathedral in a time of silence with simple input.

7.30pm St Anselm’s Chapel, Chester Cathedral

8 January, 12 February, 12 March, 9 April, 14 May, 11 June, 13 August, 10 September, 8 October, 12 November

no need to book - just come along         

Please note: Entrance to St Anselm's Chapel for these evenings is through the archway into Abbey Square, not through the Cathedral main entrance.  Someone will be at the archway with directions until about 7.25pm.  

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Oct
25
10:30 AM10:30

Creative Workshop: Paper Folding for Cards

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Come and join us for an absorbing craft morning as you try your hand at 'Iris Folding' in a relaxed friendly setting. Four papers are chosen and then folded strips are glued into place to form the attractive design. The finished card can be used in many ways - maybe to share a sense of 'Peace' with whoever receives it - and the method will be easy to do again at home.

10.30am - 1pm  9 Abbey Square

£10 inc tea / coffee - advance booking only

 

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Oct
20
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: 'Night lovely as the dawn' - a day with John of the Cross

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with Gillian Coxhead

In October, as nights lengthen, join us for an Autumn Soulful Saturday on well-loved Christian mystic John of the Cross, who explored in his experience and his writing what darkness might mean in relationship with a God of love and mystery – perhaps most famously in his ‘Dark Night of the Soul’.  This day will guide us gently through an exploration of this for ourselves.

Gillian Coxhead lives in Lancashire, the mother of four sons and a nurse in A&E.  Drawn to the Carmelite spirituality of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, and its resonance today, she leads retreats regularly in England and Ireland.  We are so glad to welcome her back after previous retreats with us here in Chester.

£20 inc morning tea / coffee break  (please bring your lunch or buy lunch locally)  - advance booking only - PLEASE NOTE BOOKINGS FOR THIS EVENT NEED TO BE MADE THROUGH CHESTER CATHEDRAL BOX OFFICE 01244 500959 / in person at the Cathedral / www.chestercathedral.com

10.30am – 3pm   Cloister Room, Chester Cathedral

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Oct
18
to Nov 15

Thursday Conversations

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'Alone and Together': A series of four conversation evenings reflecting on how our spiritual life is influenced by times of solitude and companionship.  We will use resources of pictures and short pieces as a starting point, then follow this with a time of quiet personal reflection before conversation in the second half of the evening.

It is best to be at all four sessions, but possible to miss one!

£25 for four sessions (18 & 25 October; 8 & 15 Nov - not 1 Nov) and resource pack - advance booking only     

7pm – 8.30pm  (please note slightly earlier time, if you have been to a previous series)     9 Abbey Square

    

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Sep
29
10:00 AM10:00

Soulful Saturday: Poetic Spirit

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with Julia McGuinness

Join us for a morning workshop on a relationship between poetry and spirituality.

Poetry has the capacity to transfigure the ordinary through words. It moves us into a new space of truth alongside mystery and possibility.

Whether we are seeking ‘new words for God’ (Rowan Williams) or simply responding to ‘the impulse to kneel in words’ (Denise Levertov), the language of poetry is an appropriate one for the journey of faith. We find it in our Scriptures and in the writings of people of faith down the ages. Some have faith in poetry itself as a medium with power to sustain the soul.

In this day we will approach the poetry of faith from various angles:
We will look at encountering poetry in Scripture and beyond
We will look at some themes and concerns it engages
We will explore where our own written words might take us in response.

Julia McGuinness is a poet, writer, workshop leader and counsellor.  She has her own local practice ‘Creative Connections’ and has published widely, including her own collection of poetry inspired by Chester’s City Walls and the book ‘Writing our Faith’.   She leads workshops and retreats across the country – including two previously for Retreat House Chester - and we are delighted that she will be spending another morning with us.

10am – 1pm   9 Abbey Square

£18 inc refreshments - advance booking only

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Cathedral Contemplative Prayer
Sep
10
7:30 PM19:30

Cathedral Contemplative Prayer

Usually the second Monday of each month, joining with Chester Cathedral in a time of silence with simple input.

7.30pm St Anselm’s Chapel, Chester Cathedral

8 January, 12 February, 12 March, 9 April, 14 May, 11 June, 13 August, 10 September, 8 October, 12 November

no need to book - just come along         

Please note: Entrance to St Anselm's Chapel for these evenings is through the archway into Abbey Square, not through the Cathedral main entrance.  Someone will be at the archway with directions until about 7.25pm.  

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Cathedral Contemplative Prayer
Aug
13
7:30 PM19:30

Cathedral Contemplative Prayer

Usually the second Monday of each month, joining with Chester Cathedral in a time of silence with simple input.

7.30pm St Anselm’s Chapel, Chester Cathedral

8 January, 12 February, 12 March, 9 April, 14 May, 11 June, 13 August, 10 September, 8 October, 12 November

no need to book - just come along         

Please note: Entrance to St Anselm's Chapel for these evenings is through the archway into Abbey Square, not through the Cathedral main entrance.  Someone will be at the archway with directions until about 7.25pm.  

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Jul
22
2:00 PM14:00

A Sunday Afternoon: Exploring Walls with Words

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with Julia McGuinness

Why not make a summer visit to your own city, or find a new way to see Chester?  Chester’s City Walls richly reward exploration, and in this reflective afternoon we will do that with words and on foot – not least because walls have been a source of inspiration for poets and spiritual writers alike.  Led by local poet Julia McGuinness and drawing from both her own collection on Chester’s City Walls and the works of others, we will make an imaginative exploration of walls, their nature and their meaning, here in a city surrounded by walls. 

We will start together with poetry and reflection, then venture to the City Walls close by to hear some poetry inspired by that location, before spending some time apart in our own reflective exploration guided by prompts – and then gathering again to share what we found.

£14  advance booking only  

2 – 4.30pm  inc refreshments    9 Abbey Square

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Jul
16
to Jul 21

A Week of Days

Choose a quiet day or more within this week. Please note: bookings are now closed - but we have places on WEDNESDAY 18th, so do contact us if you would like to come on that day. Thank you.

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Jul
6
10:30 AM10:30

A Short Retreat

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Find quiet time and slow down on this short day of retreat in the city - with simple input, resources, shared time and your own time.  We will start the day with guided reflection and silence, and close with shared conversation.  For the time in between there will be resources for you to choose if you wish, as you use our rooms in Abbey Square, or wander to the Cathedral, its grounds, or into the city.

Spring and Summer dates: Fridays 16 February; 2 March; 20 April; 18 May; Wednesday 6 June (please note change); 6 July

10.30am – 2.30pm           9 Abbey Sq

£10 (advance booking) including refreshments all day (but please bring a packed lunch or have lunch locally)             

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Jun
29
10:00 AM10:00

Pilgrimage Walk: Drawing from the Well of Life

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with Catherine Green

Join us for a mini pilgrimage, as we walk to two local ‘wells’: the ancient St Plegmund’s Well in Plemstall near Mickle Trafford and the Cloister Garden ‘Fountain of Life’ in Chester Cathedral.    Through pilgrimage from urban to rural and back again, with some times of silent walking and stops for reflective readings along the way, explore what the ‘water of life’ means for you.  We will take time for our picnic lunch in Plemstall (please bring your own packed lunch).  Approximately 5 miles each way (so ten in total!), mostly easy walking along the Greenway with some steps.  Please feel confident to walk this distance with a group and wear suitable footwear.

£8   advance booking only

10am    Gather at 9 Abbey Square.     We expect to finish at about 3pm.

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Jun
26
7:00 PM19:00

Reflective Evening: Wisdom - Living in harmony with the world and meeting the sacred

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with Claire Egan

Contemporary sciences from physics to ecology and climatology have pointed to the complex interrelationships in the natural world, of which we are a part. “Laws of nature” have been identified and within the living sphere, ecosystems observed, where many different species co-exist, but which are sensitive to being changed or destroyed by human intervention and overconsumption.

In the Wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible and apocrypha, the “ways” (derek) of the natural world, and the harmonious co-existence of species were identified long before modern science. These were recognised as coming from God, as creator, and the world was seen as permeated by God’s wisdom. The wisdom writings provided guidance for their hearers on how to live daily lives in ways attuned to the harmonies of the world, seeing in and through this practice something of the creator.

This evening, we will bring together poetry from the biblical wisdom literature and beyond, with reflections on the wonder of the natural world and the issues of our contemporary place within it.

£5 including refreshments - advance booking only

7pm - 9pm   9 Abbey Square

 

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