I had stayed at St Andrews for 7 nights for a silent retreat. Despite this pandemic period, it has been a blessing to be able to spend the time in retreat. The sisters have put in place very good social distancing measures to ensure our safety like I have my own kitchenette, bathroom and en suite bedroom. I was able to use the chapel, creative materials and books as long as I left everything in my room after use. The kitchen is very well equipped. There are all sorts available in the creative room too. If I wanted to attend daily masses, there are churches within walking distances nearby. If I ran out of food ( I was self catering due to the pandemic) I can easily walk to nearby Lewisham or Blackheath. There are so many parks around if the weather wasn’t so hot. Despite being in the centre of London, I had the opportunity to notice what the beautiful parakeet, the trusting cat, the playful squirrel, robins , butterflies and the acorns get up to. There are many available spaces to sit and ponder whether one prefers to sit in the sun or otherwise. Everyone was very kind and welcoming despite the silence. I particularly love the evening and night prayers as it reignited my love of the Taize chants. But without a doubt the labyrinth which is in the back garden, became a prayer tool and a focal point which appealed to me very much. I have even made an art piece of the labyrinth as part of my journalling. I give thanks for everything.
“Lord, it is good for us to be here.” ( Matthew 17: 4 )