Situated in central London it is hard to imagine a more peaceful urban setting for a group or individual retreat. St. Katharine’s is an oasis in which to take time out from daily life for reflection, contemplation, or just to be.
Last Monday we once again welcomed individuals coming to take some time and space from their normal daily life, for a Reflection day, here at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine. The long term marks of St Katharine’s are based around worship, hospitality and service and we intend to immerse ourselves more deeply into these aims in the next few years. Hence, we have committed, on the second Monday of every month, to close down our normal conference business and to open our doors for individuals to receive our hospitality as they seek to set a day aside for reflection.
Of course the idea to retreat, to take time away from the crowd, is not new to those of us for whom a relationship with Christ Jesus is central to our lives. Although we often struggle to find the time, let alone the place for it. However, many people are recognising that urban life is better in managed by some time in the slow lane. Indeed, Richard Godwin’s recent article in the Evening Standard ES magazine entitled “How slow can you go?” says “the pace of life has quickened, with instant messaging, emojis and Moores Law, which posits that computer processing speed will double every two years and take us with it. Yet in a fast world to be slow is to rebel, and London has become a wonderful city to be slow in”
So whether you want time to catch your breath from the busyness of life, or a space to sit with the joys or trials of our emotionally stretched world. Whether to be part of the daily rhythm of prayer or to find a silent place to still in thought and being.
Why not plan to take up this wonderful chance to step out of the city but not to leave it by sharing in one of our days?
The comments shared by those who have already joined us show this has been a most welcome and special experience.
“This was exactly what I needed, to have the choice of quiet spaces, all very comfortable and conductive to prayer and thought. The services provided a rhythm to the day and made me feel part of a community. The refreshments were perfectly timed and lunch was delicious! A wonderful experience, time and space to reflect, pray and come together. A real Sanctuary. I will definitely come again”
The mixture of beautiful Georgian rooms, library, cloisters and garden add to the sense of space and tranquility.
“Thank you so much for a lovely day on Monday. I really enjoyed the day”
“I especially appreciated everything being optional – no pressure Thank you”
St Katharine’s has a rich history of hospitality and we look forward to welcoming you whether you wish to come for a day or to stay overnight. We have the rare privilege of being a few minutes’ walk from the river Thames in the East of London but still just moments from Limehouse DLR station.
“ I can’t wait to come back, such a warm welcome and joining in the morning Chapel service was such a helpful way to start my quiet day”
Our beautiful Chapel at the heart of St Katharine’s . A space of warmth, light and architectural beauty, it inspires thoughtfulness and tranquillity. It embodies the very spirit which we strive to create.
This holy space provides the rhythm to our Reflective days, all are most welcome to join the collective times of prayer, or to take time during the day for individual reflection.
Our next Open Reflective Day is on the 14th September and every 2nd Monday of the month.
Our next Led Reflective Day ‘Moving through Mindful Meditation into Prayer’ is on the 5th September, with the Master of St Katharine, the Rev Mark Aitken.