Retreats and Quiet Days have long been important to the Scottish Episcopal Church.
A retreat is a time to escape the clamour of daily living and slip into a quiet routine of prayer, reflection and relaxation. Island retreats are particularly effective where you are really isolated from the outside world.
You can join a led retreat as an individual (often planned and with a particular theme), go in a small group or go as a parish group with the Rector or other group leader taking the retreat.
Many retreats are conducted in silence and retreatants are given food for thought by the leader and then ponder and reflect in the silence together or in the quiet of their own rooms but non-silent retreats can be equally effective.
At a typical retreat house retreatants join the community for morning and evening prayer, perhaps a midday eucharist and compline – a short service at the end of the day.
This routine together with fixed meal times gives space for devotional addresses by retreat leaders, discussion, sharing experiences and gentle exercise.
The escape from bombardment of email and telephone and the discipline of praying and eating together (and not having to prepare the food!) as well as the spiritual nourishment really allows you to recharge your batteries.
For further information about residential and retreat centres in Scotland please see our Retreats Handbook.
St. Duthac’s Centre, Arpafeelie
Six miles from Inverness, northbound on the A9, just before the village of Tore is the Saint Duthac Centre, Arpafeelie.
The Centre is located in the grounds of Bishop’s House, next to Saint John’s Episcopal Church and surrounded by the fields and woods of the Black Isle. From the Centre there are breathtaking views in all directions, including the impressive Ben Wyvis, which is glorious in all seasons of the year. Such a wonderful situation immediately brings to mind the awe inspiring majesty of God’s creation. In this environment, even a little time spent at the Centre, will bring a semblance of peace to one’s soul, The Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness is very fortunate to have available such a valuable resource as St Duthac’s.
The Centre has good facilities for meetings and day retreats. The upper storey (the former hay loft) has a small chapel or oratory. Every Friday at 11am we have a lively discussion and Eucharist, followed by tea/coffee and buns. All are welcome to come along and participate.
We have also been developing St Duthac’s, as a resource centre with a comprehensive library and wi-fi access, where groups can come to hold their meetings and also to have `quiet days’ to still the clamour in one’s life. Just sit by the window and read or gaze outwards, peacefully watching the shadows lengthen and the sky grow crimson, as the sun settles behind the mountains away to the west. The Centre should be the place to meet, reaching out to all parts of our community.
To find out how you can book the St Duthac’s Centre, please direct all questions regarding its use to the Diocesan Office:
Retreat Houses within the Diocesan area
Fir Chlis House of Prayer, Tongue
Fir Chlis operates as a retreat house, and offers occasional ‘time out’, quiet days and longer retreats, along with comfortable accommodation in a remote and idyllic setting.
For enquiries, further details and bookings, please contact the Warden: Mrs Kathleen Pannell, Fir Chlis House of Prayer, Old Kyle Road, Rhian, Tongue IV27 4XJ – tel: 01847-611788 or 07961-274086.
The Coach House, Kilmuir
As well as retreats, The Coach House also offer workshops and other events on our programme for those wishing to take another step forward in personal or professional development.
All people are welcome, from all faith traditions or none.
Retreat Houses in the Province
Bishop’s House, Iona
Bishop’s House is a retreat house located on the island of Iona, taking groups and individuals daily and weekly.The House, which looks out over the Sound of Iona, and nestles in the shadow of Iona Abbey, was built by Bishop Chinnery Haldane in 1894 as a house of ‘prayer, study, contemplation and Eucharist’.
The College, Millport
The College of the Holy Spirit, on the Isle of Cumbrae, combines the qualities of a Christian retreat house and a Visit Scotland Three Star guest house.The College is located beside The Cathedral of the Isles, the smallest cathedral in Britain.