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  Spring Retreat on Holy Island (Lindisfarne) 

  February 24 - March 4, 2023


Feb 24:  Evening flight out of Newark International airport to Edinburgh.

Feb 25:  Early morning arrival into Edinburgh International Airport. After going through customs and collecting our luggage, we will be met by our coach driver. We shall then head directly for Holy Island, driving high along a scenic coastal route above the North Sea. But before we reach our destination, we will stop in Berwick for anyone who might like to get some cash. There are no banks or ATMs on the island. But if you have a debit or credit card most shops and restaurants accept them. Some places will do “cash back.”


Lindisfarne in February? Well, yes… on this very special island, Spring has already arrived… the lawns are an iridescent green, the birds chattering, and flowers blooming everywhere (snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses). Some flowerboxes on the fronts of the old stone houses in the village are filled with jonquils and primroses. 


Lindisfarne is a causal island, accessible by car and coach at low tide. But when the tides come in, this tiny island is transformed, enfolded in stillness. Steeped in history going back as far as the Saxon period, many well-known saints were associated with Holy Island, the island almost taking on an aura of its own (Aidan, Cuthbert, King Oswald, the Lindisfarne Gospels!).  Lindisfarne is famous internationally for its medieval religious heritage, its picturesque 16th century castle, and for its wildlife. But many are simply attracted to the peace and tranquility which pervades this very special island.


The week will not be highly structured. Morning and evening prayer as well as an occasional Eucharist are offered at the 15th c. Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin, and other opportunities for worship are also available with the Aidan and Hilda Community’s chapel. Please take note that these services are optional.


The Open Gate is no longer available for accommodations. But the Aidan and Hilda Community offer a few other self-catering properties. Breakfast and lunch will be on our own. We shall all meet together for dinner and some informal sharing afterward.


So, how will you spend your time? You are free to wander, to explore, to pray… If you need rest, give yourself permission to take naps. Perhaps you might like to sketch, take photographs, write poetry... take some hand work like knitting or needlepoint. Some of you may keep a journal. We hope this week will be an opportunity for renewal, for refreshment, and perhaps healing. God will provide you with whatever it is you need. Be open to however the Holy Spirit is leading you. Just be!

March 3: After leaving the island in the early afternoon when the tides open, we shall go directly to Edinburgh, allowing a few hours in this lovely city. Dinner and overnight will be near the airport. 


March 4:  Morning flight returning us to the states. We hope you can join us for this special time away…                                                                                                                                                              



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