Our annual silent retreat provides an opportunity to be quiet and feel God’s presence.
Unfortunately we had to postpone the next retreat till 2022 due the the restrictions necessary to limit the spread of Covid-19. The photo above shows those who came to the 2022 retreat. What a joy it was to be back
in the welcoming and comfortable setting of St. Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull beside
Perth between Tuesday 5th and Thursday 7nd April 2022. What's more we filled the house and there were no last-minute cancellations, which is a miracle given the high prevalence of Covid at the time.
Our leader was the Revd Dr Dennis Berk, Rector of St. Mary on the Rock, Ellon
and St James the Less, Cruden Bay in the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.
Dennis was born in the United States, but he has lived in Canada, Zambia, England
and now Scotland.
After attending university in Illinois, he moved to Toronto and did his
theological training at Trinity College.
Entering holy orders in 1990, he served a couple of parishes in Ontario before returning
to his home state of Pennsylvania.
Whilst serving as a Rector there, he was selected for a three-year missionary appointment
in Zambia, where he lectured in Pastoral Theology and Church History.
In 2009 he relocated to the West Yorkshire town of Mirfield, where he entered the
Community of the Resurrection. He spent nine years living as a monk in that Anglican
Now naturalised as a British citizen, in 2018, he came to Scotland where he serves
as Rector of two congregations in rural Aberdeenshire.
Dennis chose the theme, “Stillness and Silence: Being in God’s Presence”
In the hectic pace of life in this 21st century, with all of the anxieties and stresses
of modern living pressing down heavily upon us, it can be challenging to find ways
to hear the ‘still, small voice of God’ amidst the noisy clamour of the world.
The retreat promised to offer an opportunity to step out of life’s fast lane and settle gently into
the peace and calm of being in God’s holy presence. Dennis's gentle leadership and the atmosphere of the house certainly lived up to that promise. We all left feeling we had experienced something special. This was especially welcome after all the trauma many have experienced over the last two years.
The retreat is run mid-week from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday after lunch. The
usual format of the retreat is to maintain silence in the building from around 8pm
on Tuesday to around 12 noon on Thursday, though there are always areas reserved
for those who want to talk during these times. There is a programme of services and
talks, but it up to you to decide how much you wish to be involved. You are free
to attend everything on offer or to be on your own if you wish.
Wednesday afternoon is free time to explore the area or use as you wish. There is
usually an opportunity to talk to the leader on a one to one basis during this time.
St Mary’s completed a major refurbishment in 2017 so that most rooms are single rooms
with en-suite facilities. Four rooms have shared bathrooms with one bathroom to two
rooms. There is a lift serving all floors.
We are now booked in for the next retreat from 28th to 30th March in 2023. Watch this page for more details later in the year.
If you would like to be added to the email list to be sent details of future Retreats
when they are available, please click here.
Please take a look at the pages for the previous Retreats to get an idea of what
they are like and to look at the photo-galleries.