About the URC Retreat Group
The URC Retreat Group brings together church members, elders and ministers from across the denomination. We publish a magazine Encounter.
We used to be called the URC Silence and Retreats Network, but we changed our name in 2007. What lay behind the change of name was the awareness that, though it is important in a contemplative approach, silence is no more than a tool. People who are nervous before their first quiet day or retreat because of the prospect of silence tend to discover rapidly that the silence is no more than a tool: what matters is the experience of God which silence can invite.
In each synod there is a link person for the URC Retreat Group. No two synods are the same, but typically the synod link person will be involved in running quiet days or retreats, and in spiritual direction. If you are wanting to explore the contemplative dimension of the URC, one starting point is to contact your synod link person listed on the contact page of this web site.
Nationally there is a core group, convened by Revd Sue Henderson, which has an annual consultation with the synod links. The hope is that the new web site will also help with the sharing of information and ideas among peple who are both comtemplative and Reformed.
Membership costs £10 for individuals, though we invite those who can to pay £15, and £20 for local churches. If you would like to join the URC Retreat Group, please contact the Treasurer, Revd David Parkin. For other information, please contact your synod link their details are on the Contact page.
Much of the contemplative engagement of members of the URC happens in ecumenical contexts, but specifically URC-based initiatives include:
- St Cuthberts Centre, which is a retreat centre on Holy Island, off the Northumbrian coast;
- The Windermere Centre which has a growing programme of retreats;
- Westminster College, which also has a growing programme of retreats;
- The Aston Tirrold Centre for Reflection which is a non-residential centre in Oxfordshire;
- Monks Eleigh Rural Retreat (HOME) which is a non-residential centre in Suffolk.