As a Londoner, I lead a busy life. While I love London and the buzz of the city, I also want to cultivate stillness and spirituality in the midst of it all.

This ‘diary of spiritual journeys’ sees me heading off on a weekend retreat roughly once a month, exploring a wide range of Christian traditions and themes.

I am curious about what the UKs Christian retreats have to offer, and want to see whether retreats can help me deepen my spirituality and find time out from the rush of the city.

You can contact me at: karenjmcintyre@gmail.com


10 thoughts on “About

  1. what a wonderful challenge u have tasked yourself!!

    i shall be checking up on your blog entries as u visit your 12 retreats…

    may the Lord be with u on your journey

  2. Interesting challenge you’ve set yourself!

    I have a couple of suggestions, if I may be so bold:

    – Are you planning on going to Worth Abbey later in the year. They’ve a busy schedule of retreats throughout the year, including several in midweek.

    – The banner at the top of the site ilooks like it taken from the northern tip of Iona (stood outside the bunk house, I think). Are you planning on visiting there? Its worth it, although it would take half the weekend just to get there!

    – What about pilgrimages? Doesn’t suit everybody, I know, but I came here from the BBC website, who were linking to you. The picture attached to that link was from the Camino de Santiago, or seemed to be (sun, shorts, boots, walking stick…) and there are several pilgrimages that are effectively walking retreats in the UK alone (let alone in Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany – the list is endless). Student Cross, Northern Cross and Scottish Cross all run over Easter and there are plenty the rest of the year across the country.

    I almost didn’t make the next suggestion, as it does seem to run against your plan of one weekend retreat a month but…

    – I would suggest contemplating a week-long retreat, or even longer (e.g. 8 days) – I don’t find I completely slow down on a weekend retreat.

    But its up to you. Good luck, God bless, and I might even see you there on one of them!

  3. Hi, Thanks very much for your comments.

    I do indeed intend to go to Worth later in the year – I’d planned a trip there in January but it got snowed off!

    The photograph is of Iona, on the northern tip.
    I visited Iona the year before last and loved it. It was a beautiful evening when I took this shot, and a rainbow was just appearing – perfect! You’re right though – it takes easily a whole weekend to get there.

    Pilgrimages is another area that really interests me and I hope maybe, in the future, to do something similar with this area – a blog about various pilgrimages in UK/ abroad. The Camino de Santiago is something I’ve been meaning to do in a long time. I’m sure there are many in the UK too… something I’d like to explore.

    Thank you for the comments, I hope you enjoy the blog!

  4. What a brillaint idea! Reading your experiences so far has inspired me to go on another retreat (have done two – one to Ham and one to Edenbridge).

    Looking forward to reading about your experiences and seeing which place I might go to. Now I just have to make the time to do it! From my previous experiences it is totally worth while!

  5. Wonderful idea and website.
    I loved my visit to Worth – really restorative.
    Would love to visit Charney Manor some day esp. since its only down the road.

    Good luck on your journey I shall continue to read with interest

  6. Forgive me if I missed it and it is lurking in the middle of your excellent and thought-provoking blog, but have you made space for the vast and deep spiritual riches of the Orthodox Christian tradition.

    I spotted a mention for St.Antony of Egypt but not sure if you have planned a stay at any of the monastic houses in England. This ancient and apostolic church should be worth exploring, especially as the ascetic life (hesychasm) is so central to its understanding of the normal Christian life.

    Best wishes.

  7. Thank you for this blog. I have just spent a very peaceful time reading it as a micro-retreat from my busy afternoon. It is wonderful somehow that there are souls sitting in monasteries and convents reflecting on this life we all lead. Just imagining them gives me a moment’s calm in the storm of urban life’s relentless momentum. Your beautifully simple descriptions reflects the communities you have peeked into in a lovely way.

  8. Fascinating blog, well done. I haven’t had time to read it all yet, but after all your experiences I would love to know what for you makes a good retreat?

  9. Thanks so much for your blog. I read it with great interest as I’m just off on my first ever retreat for 3 days 15-17th August 2011) and its self-led! I will be taking some books and probably try to journal my thoughts, plus maybe some drawing or craft work.

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