This isn’t a call as given by the Regimental Sergent Major in battle but my monthly time away from the parish. Why do I bother and should an evangelican churchman be spending time with a group of nuns at the Holy Cross Convent? Isn’t it dabling with things Tractarian. Firstly they are an Anglican order and they ask nothing of me but just give me space to be with my bible and my God.

I am becoming a convert to this monthly pattern of a day away. It is creating space in my diary to ensure that God is the priority for that day. How often is the email and the phone the driver of the day the meeting and that pastoral situation and yes then we have time for prayer. it is said that retreat is to be seen as:

“time consciously set aside for God, a change of focus, a deliberate act of stepping outside of normal routine by withdrawing (not running away) from the noise and pressures; the immediate and insistent claims of our social, domestic and workaday responsibilities in order to be in a quiet place where all our senses are open and ready to listen to God. Evelyn Underhill spoke of this as ‘loitering with intent.’ ‘Going equipped’ would be a more modern phrase meaning the same.”

I will always defend these days in my diray days when I stop doing and start being in Christ.

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