Jun
7
to Jul 5

Thursday Conversations

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A series of four reflective evenings of quiet time and conversation on the theme of ‘Glimpsing God’: catching a glimpse of the Divine in the experiences of our everyday living.  The four sessions will focus on glimpsing God in creation, in people, in sacred places, and in silence.  We will use the beautiful resource packs produced by ‘Shoreline Conversations’. 

£25 for four sessions (7, 14, 28 June & 5 July) and resource pack - advance booking only     

7.15pm – 8.45pm       9 Abbey Square     

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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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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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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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Jul
16
to Jul 21

A Week of Days

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Choose one or more days during this week for your own retreat.   Rhythm and balance can help us find peace, so each day will have the following rhythm:

arrive from 10am for coffee

10.30am a short opening reflection for the day, with shared silence

then your own time, spent in our two rooms in silence or venturing out, perhaps to the cathedral, its grounds or around the city, using our resources if you wish

1pm lunch together (please bring a packed lunch) or elsewhere if you wish

1.45pm a short reflection to open the afternoon

then your own time, with a chance for tea and conversation for those who wish

3pm closing reflection

With less input than our Short Retreats, these are simple days, offering the chance to make your own retreat and find some peace within the rhythm of the day.  

£10 per day (or part day, if you would like to come for just part) inc refreshments available all day - advance booking only  

10am – 3.15pm   9 Abbey Square

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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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Jun
9
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: "Love was his Meaning" - a 'homely' approach to the spirituality of Julian of Norwich

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with Avis Palmer

As Chester prepares for its 2018 presentation of its Mystery Plays, with their medieval origins, come and find out more about English medieval mystic Julian of Norwich.  This day is an invitation to explore how much Julian, medieval anchorite, mystic, writer and a woman of humour and common sense has to say to us today, guiding our prayer life and our daily living.

£20 inc tea / coffee  (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

10.30am – 3pm   Cloister Room, Chester Cathedral

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May
18
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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May
12
10:00 AM10:00

Soulful Saturday: Celtic Mosaic & Reflection

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with Aleta Doran

Spend the morning in the absorbing activity of mosaic making, while considering a little about Celtic spirituality.  In this mosaic workshop make a round mandala wall decoration (diameter 20cm) inspired by Celtic symbolism, with occasional readings from Celtic spirituality and some of the time working in peaceful silence.  With coffee, cake and chat, too, of course!

You will use glass mosaic tiles to decorate your mandala, choosing from a large selection of shapes, sizes, colours and decorative finishes.  Learn about colour meanings and the use of a mandala as an aid to meditation.  Your finished piece will need to be grouted at home – you will be given grout and clear written instructions to take away.

£25 inc all materials and refreshments (advance booking only)  

10am – 1pm     9 Abbey Square

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Apr
27
10:00 AM10:00

Mindful Nature: Walk and Conversation

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Guided by Simon Fry, this walk will take us to the green places of the city. Reconnect with our natural environment as we explore the city walls, park and river through a range of mindfulness meditations, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.  Then we return to Abbey Square for coffee and reflective conversation led by Retreat House Chester.

Simon Fry is the founder of mindfulchimp.com.  He is a fully qualified and experienced Mindfulness Coach and Trainer, working in Chester, Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales.

gather at 9 Abbey Square at 10am (advance booking) – finish at 12.30: we are sorry that this route is not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies, and no dogs – please feel confident to walk with a group and wear suitable footwear

£12 (advance booking)

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Apr
14
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: Benedictine Spirituality

 image Aleta Doran Mosaics

image Aleta Doran Mosaics

In April, we are pleased to join with Chester Cathedral’s Benedictine Spirituality Day, led by the Lay Community of St Benedict, a community of people in Britain and across the world who live out the spirituality of St Benedict in the ordinary circumstances of their lives.  St Benedict, a 6th century monk, was a radical influence on Western monastic life, with a central call to ‘Listen’.  Come and spend the day learning about, and reflecting on, Benedictine Spirituality in the beautiful setting of Chester Cathedral, which still bears witness to its roots as a Benedictine Abbey.           

10am registration and coffee, for a 10.30am start – finish at 3.30pm: lunch is available to buy in the Cathedral Refectory (not included in the charge)

a charge of £5 to cover refreshments: this event is being organised by Chester Cathedral and bookings are through the Cathedral (01244 500959), not Retreat House Chester

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Mar
21
2:30 PM14:30

Mosaic Workshop: Inspired by Local Mosaics

 mosaic workshop July 2017

mosaic workshop July 2017

with Aleta Doran

Make a small mosaic plaque inspired by the border design of the marble wall mosaic decorating the nave of Chester Cathedral

We will begin by looking at the 19th century revival of interest in architectural mosaics, considering those at Chester Cathedral, the chapel at Eaton Hall and St John the Baptist, Aldford. You will learn about the materials and techniques used to create these mosaics.  We will then design and make a small mosaic using traditional materials, including glass and marble, to take home.

All materials are provided.  This course is suitable for beginners and those who wish to develop their skills – full support and guidance will be given.  It can be enjoyed on its own, and might appeal especially to anyone attending the Cathedral’s spring mosaic talks (www.chestercathedral.com) or to those who came to the July 2017 ‘Mosaics: Inspired by Tradition’ workshop.      

Led by Aleta Doran Mosaics.  Aleta is a professional local mosaicist and we are delighted to welcome her back after her previous workshops with us.

2.30 – 4.30pm    9 Abbey Square               

£20 inc refreshments and all materials (advance booking)

We are pleased to draw your attention to a lecture for the Chester Theological Society: 'Frederic Shields and Evangelical Iconography: the Chapel at Eaton Hall, Cheshire' by Professor Philip Alexander FBA, focusing on the mosaics of the chapel and lavishly illustrated.  Tuesday 6th March 7.30pm Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Hollybank, Liverpool Road, Chester (£3 payable on door).

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Mar
2
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; Thursday 7 June

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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Feb
6
7:00 PM19:00

Reflective Evening

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The Voice of Job: A Spirituality for Lent?

with Claire Egan

The season of Lent is strongly associated with the image of going into the desert. In the desert, there are few permanent landmarks to guide the way. This evening, preparing for the start of Lent in mid-February, will consider how “desert experiences” can offer ways towards a renewed understanding of relationship with the Divine, with a focus on the story of Job: his loss, search for and subsequent encounter with God. There will be opportunities to reflect on your own responses to the issues raised.

Claire Egan leads retreats locally.  She has a special interest in the Book of Job.

7pm – 9pm 9 Abbey Square

£5 (advance booking)

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Sep
16
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: a Retreat Day with St Beuno's

 image thanks to Aleta Doran Mosaics

image thanks to Aleta Doran Mosaics

With St Beuno's Outreach Team

St Beuno’s is a large residential retreat house near St Asaph, North Wales, well-known for its silence and Ignatian spirituality.  St Ignatius emphasised a Christian spirituality which finds God in our experience, and this day will show us what this means.

Cloister Room, Chester Cathedral 10.30am – 3pm

£25 (concessions £20) inc morning tea and coffee (please bring your lunch or use the Cathedral Refectory / nearby)

Advance booking is essential, please, through Chester Cathedral Box Office on 01244 500959 or www.chestercathedral.com, or at the Cathedral.

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Jun
17
10:30 AM10:30

Soulful Saturday: Pop-Up

 image thanks to Aleta Doran Mosaics

image thanks to Aleta Doran Mosaics

For June, something different...
Pop-Up in Abbey Square
From mid-morning to mid-afternoon - about 10.30 to 2.30, weather permitting - Retreat House will be outside on the grass in Abbey Square, welcoming passers-by.  Find a peaceful moment in the city. Leave your mark in the Reflective Chester activity. Time for conversation. Add to our mosaic making and enjoy fairtrade fudge.  Peace postcards to take away.  Why not pop by?         

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