Coming on Retreat?

How to make the most of your retreat:

Taking time aside on retreat helps us realign our priorities and enables us to re-enter our world refreshed and better able to function.

Come as you are - many of us have busy, stressful, lonely or complicated lives which may lead us to feeling God as distant or remote. At such times our prayer life can become routine or just seem like more hard work… despite this we often are searching for ways of expressing more meaning in our life, of finding ways to live with depth and with integrity. The change of tempo of going on retreat can help us take time to explore these yearnings.

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Questions you might ask yourself in preparation:

Can I begin to slow down, rest in confidence and trust in God’s care whilst I make my retreat?

What gift or help do I need at this time?

How are God and I interacting at this point in my life?

Can I invite God to show me the ME I am bringing to this retreat time?


To be in silence is a gift to help you focus on your time with God, prayer, the environment – to rest from social interventions (conversation, computers, mobile phones, e-mail, etc.) and concentrate on your spiritual relationship. You may notice your other senses more, and be surprised by what comes to light.

If you are accompanied on your retreat, you will have opportunity to talk with your guide, take part in worship services and if there are any concerns to raise them with your guide who will do his/her best to serve your needs.

You may choose to be in silence or part-silence during your retreat. If you wear a leaf broach available from reception (or from the dining room) others around you at the Bield will know that you are in silence.

I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too - your reassuring presence, coming and going.        Ps 139:1-12

What is it?

A retreat is a response to God’s invitation to come aside and rest with him. He is the host so he is the one who plans what will happen. There will always be an unexpected element on retreat but it will be in the context of an encounter with a loving and gracious God. We all need to start our retreats very slowly, deliberately changing pace, spend more time noticing all your senses, do things more gently…

You may choose to be accompanied by a guide (IGR – Individually Guided Retreat) or you may want to undertake your retreat in your own way. If you decide during your retreat that you would like to have a session or two with someone from the ministry team that can normally be arranged – Just ask at Reception.

Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.   Mark 6:31

What it is not:

A retreat is not an endurance test, a time of over zealous inward looking, a time of in depth Bible study; a time of extended intercessory prayer. Although a retreat may well have elements of all of these, it is your retreat, with your concerns, and is best helped by coming with a willingness to be totally open and honest before God.

Retreat Accompaniment

On an individually guided retreat (IGR) your guide is there to help you listen to and find God’s presence in the circumstances of your life. You will usually have a daily meeting with your retreat guide.

Your retreat can be of varying length e.g. 3, 4, 6, or 8 days. For an 8 day retreat you need to book the lodge house. Your guide is listening for the ways that God is working in your life, both during your prayer times and in your other activities. This is not counselling. Your guide will offer suggestions for prayer but will not tell you what to do.

You might like to say how you felt, what happened for you in your prayer time, how you responded to the passage – your ‘formal’ prayer time is only part of the picture – all manner of things from life, your environment your relationships may hold surprising insights into where God is moving in your experience.

Everything you say to your retreat guide is held in confidence.

Listening, Guiding, Counselling, Coaching, Accompanying and Praying with you on your Retreat

Listening at The Bield is carried out in adherence to the Listen Well Scotland listening principles of practice and training.

Counselling at The Bield is carried out in adherence to the British Association of Counselling Practice (BACP) Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy [BACP ethical framework jan2013.pdf]

Coaching at The Bield is carried out in adherence to the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)  Code of Practice. [ILM_Code of Practice.pdf]

Guiding, Accompanying and Praying at The Bield is carried out in adherence to the Epiphany Group Code of Practice - Values and Principles.     [Epiphany Group Values Principles.pdf]


The Bield at Blackruthven

Tibbermore, Perth, PH1 1PY   Scotland

[email protected]

Tel 01738 583 238

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