Parish Retreat at ELY

Church News | Monday, 27 November 2017 |

By Peter Baker

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral

This particular pause in our life’s journey took place on Saturday 25th November at the Bishop Woodford Retreat House in Ely and was led by St Mary’s Ministry Team. On arrival at the Retreat House we enjoyed coffee or tea with home made biscuits. The programme consisted of three sessions, one in the morning, 10.30am to 12 noon, and two during the afternoon 2pm to 3.15pm and 3.45pm to 4.45pm. The options for the first session were Bible study with lectio divina and guided meditation, or time for quiet individual prayer and pondering, or prayerful craft activity.

We chose the bible study which was taken from John’s Gospel chapter 1, verses 1 to 18. This is a well known passage which we read a couple of times and then each of us in the group were asked to mention which word or phrase had a really strong feeling or meaning for us. The study continued on these lines, prayer with our further thoughts on the reading which we felt was an in depth study.

The morning session was followed by a two course lunch served in the Retreat House dining room.

After lunch session two commenced at 2.00pm. The options in this session were a prayer walk around Ely Cathedral led by members of the ministry team, or quiet prayer time in the cathedral or Retreat House, or a visit to the stained glass museum.

The prayer walk was our choice which commenced at the font, where we renewed our Baptismal promises. Reading: Romans 6:3-4. The Nave ceiling – everything points to Christ. The South Transept – Mary Magdalene meets the Risen Christ. Reading: John 20: 14-17. The Octagon – Risen wounded, the eighth day. Let us thank God for every sign of hope and resurrection. Reading: John 20: 24-28. The High Altar – what is it that feeds you? Reading: Matthew 26: 26-28. St Etheldreda Chapel – pilgrimage. The Lady Chapel – the Virgin Mary, the Altar, Brokenness. Reading: Mark 14: 32-36.

It was then time to make our way back to the Retreat House for afternoon tea and cake.

After our refreshments we met in the Retreat House Chapel for the Retreat Day Eucharist. The simplicity and splendour of this Holy Meal was very moving with the broken bread and wine.

It was then time to board our coach for the journey back to Broomfield. This is a Pilgrimage we felt was inspirational and a good start to the Advent season. Peter Baker

Enjoying lunch together

Enjoying lunch together

The Lantern project

The Lantern project



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