Spring Retreat on Holy Island (Lindisfarne)
February 23 - March 3, 2024
Feb 23: Evening flight from EWR to Edinburgh.
Feb 24: Arrival into Edinburgh International Airport early in the morning. 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 can 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… 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.
Holy Island 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.
We all hope to attend Sunday morning Eucharist at 10:45am at the 15th c. Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin. Evening prayer takes place at 5pm Monday-Friday, and on Sunday. Noonday prayers and Night prayers are offered by the Aidan and Hilda Community at the Meeting Place near the Gospel Garden. But please take note all these other services are optional. The week will not be highly structured…
We will be staying at 3 different self-catering properties. Each house is fully equipped with all the amenities including Wifi. Jutta, our cook from previous years at the Open Gate, will provide a Continental breakfast for each cottage to eat at your leisure. Lunch is on your own (there are several options on the island.) We shall all meet for dinner at 6pm, followed by some sharing.
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 for this retreat. Be open to however the Holy Spirit is leading you. Just be…
March 2: After being picked up by our coach driver in the mid-morning when the tides are open, we shall go directly to Edinburgh, allowing for spending the afternoon in this lovely city. Dinner and overnight will be near the airport.
March 3: Morning flight returning us to the states.
This retreat has been a highlight of the year for a number of people, having returned again and again. The space is limited to 10-12 individuals, so please send in your registrations and deposits as soon as you know you’d like to be part of this unique experience.
We look forward to having you with us...
TOTAL COST OF TRIP: $1995 including airfare (shared occupancy)