The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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July 2019

The Women's Retreat with Carol Barrett Ford

Sheena Ginnings

A “spiritual spa” was how one participant described the Women’s Retreat on Saturday 8th June in the beautiful and welcoming surroundings of St Katherine’s Foundation near Limehouse. Our thoughtful and insightful retreat leader Carol Barrett Ford did three reflections on inspirational Christian women, through different centuries, whose lives focused on the importance of silent contemplation, the need for social action, and the power of an education through which we can become the people we were born to be. There was also time for church devotion with Morning Prayer and the Eucharist, time to contemplate and to be quiet, and a special time for sharing stories of women who have influenced our Christian journey.


It was a special day.  This is how some of the participants described it


 ….…quiet reflection in such peaceful surroundings, was a balm for the soul.


…….. the focus on historical women who have been such powerful and transformative spiritual leaders was very inspirational for me. 


………The retreat was a cleansing experience….. Ultimately, there is nothing so enriching as just being - no matter how difficult the process may be to get there.


………I'm so glad I went - I think it’s the first time I've really stopped and spent time being still and looking at trees and writing in a journal for about 20 years!


………I sat watching a pair of pied wagtails for 20 minutes without feeling that I should be anywhere else.


……..the soothing comfort of the company of women.


……..It was very special - a rare treat - to have a day of calm and reflection. St Katharine's provides a haven of peace.


….… a wonderful chance to pause and reflect.


……..Something happened but I don’t know what it is…..very powerful……I loved it


A big thank you to Ayla and Jenny (Lupa) for organising our Women’s Retreat and to Carol for being our retreat leader.


I look forward to the next one!

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