During one of the Committee meetings for the ‘Working with Young Adults’ group Margaret Wilson RSCJ offered to lead a ‘Walking Retreat’ in May 2014. It was really a ‘taster’ session to see if there was a take-up for such a venture and the invitation only went out to contacts such as the students living in the Oxford and Barat communities. The maximum number was 5 as it was to be based in a holiday house owned by the Society on the Norfolk coast. Within days of advertising all 5 places were taken. Marion Charley RSCJ offered to cook each day and this was a great blessing. The advert read:
The Society of the Sacred Heart
invites you to participate in a three-day walking retreat based in the lovely Norfolk village of Mundesley.
The programme will consist of:
A short input each morning
A visit to the Julian Shrine in Norwich
A visit to Walsingham
The opportunity to reflect and walk on the beach
Time for individual and group prayer each day
In the end only two students came as deadlines and sickness prevented the others from coming. However it was a wonderful experience for us all. The day we visited Walsingham was very wet but they still braved the walk from the Slipper Chapel to the Anglican Shrine. The following day we did the pilgrim walk from the Julian Shrine in Norwich to the Cathedral and walked the labyrinth and we managed to stay dry.
The final day was spent in solitude on the beach, walking and reflecting. The whole experience was good for us all and the sharing and reflection each evening was very profound. Throughout, Marion kept us going with good food! This is definitely something worth repeating and advertising more widely (so watch this space...)