Our IGRs are Ignatian-style retreats. There are no addresses as in preached or themed retreats. Rather, each person with the help of an experienced guide follows their own path as it seems God is leading them. The emphasis is on integrating body, mind and heart in faith.
The pattern of the week is: –
Sunday: arrive during the afternoon in time for Evensong (6.00 pm) This is followed by an informal supper with the Community and afterwards an introductory meeting with the whole group.
Monday to Saturday: silence is kept. Each retreatant sees one of the guides each day to talk over the previous day’s prayers and gain a sense of direction for the day to come. Other set moments each day the daily Eucharist; times of silent prayer together in the evening (details will be given on the first evening if is happening); and three meals. Apart from these, there is no other commitment. No books that must be read, letters written, or chores that must be done. There is time simply to pray, think, mull over the words of scripture … to do nothing or to do something that helps to clear space for God. Many people find it helpful to paint, draw and go for walks – we pray as we are, not overlooking our imaginations, our bodies, our memories, hopes and fears.
Saturday evening: There is usually an informal (optional) social gathering to ease out of the silence.
Sunday: Mattins, Mass, breakfast and depart (c. 10.00 am)
As you approach the week, you might be wondering what it will be like. Inspiring? Challenging? Restful? Liberating? Life-changing? You might find it any or all of these. But those who have prayed in this way know without doubt that they have spent a week in God’s company. And that our God is, as Gerard Hughes says, a ‘God of surprises’.