Saturday, February 24, 2007

A bit of a blow

I've blogged in the past about my very favourite retreat house in the entire world, The Llan in Shropshire. I've been getting excited over the past few days, because I'm heading there for 3 nights next week with special friend from vicar-school, - and, what's more, I'd managed to book in for a slot all to myself in May so I was feeling truly smug.

Until, that is, a friend emailed me this link yesterday.
The Llan, in all its hospitable beauty, is on the market.
There's even an ad in the Church Times.
I have a horrible feeling that this may be my last visit, and I hate that.
What's more, I suddenly understand the sentiments of those who see changes looming in their beloved church and want to run away and cry. Those pews may be ugly, but if it was while sitting in one of them that you had a special hug from God, then yes, you are entitled to get rather upset if they are under threat. It doesn't mean the changes might not lead to a greater good in the end, - but grief along the way is perfectly reasonable. Trust me, I'm a curate and I know.

That's rather where I am tonight.

Oh, and I urgently need recommendations for retreat houses that give you enough space and spoiling without any sense of people breathing down your neck...Llan has been so special for me, -it' going to be a very hard act to follow.


mary said...

I saw this in the CT and thought of you, wondering if it was Llan and knowing how much it's meant to you. Possibly the fact that it is being advertised as a Christian retreat house means that there is some covenant that may preserve it, but of course it is bound to be different even if that were so. When I can get away I go to St Mary's Abbey at West Malling: the Benedictine Sisters definitely don't breathe down your neck (only the guest sister is permitted to speak to guests) and it's rather like living in a Brueghel painting - but it's very austere, the countryside isn't the same as Shropshire, and its a long way from CK (though not by the standards of US RGBPs!). Enjoy Llan while you can, pray and hope.

Mary said...

Oh dear - have just read the link properly and clearly there isn't a covenant. Pray and hope anyway, I suppose.

Rowland said...

Here's a Retreat link for you to look up. Alas I'm too far away to have been there myself but several others have given very good recommendations. I would love to go.
But St David's may be too far away for you?

Dr Moose said...

Well, you already know about the wonderful folks at Sheldon, although it's a bit of a way.

Likewise the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete have a lovely little place at Sleights in North Yorkshire, nestled in a valley on the moors not far from Whitby, although again I guess that's a little far.

It might also be worth checking out Launde Abbey, the Leicester Diocesan Retreat/Conference Centre. I haven't been there for a while, but I seem to remember they had a variety of accomodation.

As for St Mary's Abbey at West Malling, well, it might be in my Parish, but I've only been there for quiet days. It's a little too close