Our annual silent retreat provides an opportunity to be quiet and feel God’s presence. The photo above shows those who came to the 2023 retreat. Fortunately Covid-19 was no longer a major issue. It was a joy once again to be in the welcoming and comfortable setting of St. Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull beside Perth between Tuesday 28th March to Thursday 30th March 2023.
Our leader was the Right Reverend Andrew Swift, the Bishop of Brechin.
Bishop Andrew has been the Scottish Episcopal Bishop of Brechin, centred in Dundee, for just over four years. In these four years as bishop he has served on various boards and committees including the SEC Advisory Group for Coronavirus.
He has particular interest in clergy wellbeing, healthy handling of conflict and constructive ways that church communities can be helped to change. In Brechin Diocese nearly half of the serving clergy are now in ‘transitional’ ministries.
Before Brechin he ministered in the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles and the Diocese of Gloucester, in the Church of England.
Prior to ordained ministry he had careers as a shipbuilding executive, an Admiralty research engineer and even a junior officer in the RAF. He has studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Oxford.
Bishop Andrew was born in Aberdeen, grew up in Dunblane and is married to Mary, a native of Stranraer.
Bishop Andrew had the theme “Renewal and New Beginnings”. He took us through from creation to the flood and then the malice of people as described in the Old Testament and finished with a positive assertion that God's intention is for us to have life and have it abundantly as stated in the Gospel of John.
The retreat offered an opportunity for a time of quietness and renewal in the peace and calm of God’s holy presence. Bishop Andrew's leadership and the atmosphere of the house delivered on that promise.
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 and all
have en-suite facilities. There is a lift serving all floors.
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.