I’d like to share this selection of photos taken at the lovely Society of Mary and Martha Retreat House near Exeter in Devon, earlier this month (April 2014). I loved the colourful papier mache angels which were dotted around the place. One was wearing a sombrero, so I guess they could be Mexican! I’ll have to go back again to find out, until then, in common with most angels, where they came from is a mystery.
During my visit Margaret Silf led some wonderful sessions on the subject of ‘Landscapes of Prayer’. I heartily recommend Margaret’s book of the same name. In fact I’d recommend any of her books, my first love being ‘Landmarks, an Ignatian Journey’.
During the retreat we reflected on the archetypal places of the River, the Cave, the Mountain, the Night Sky, the Forest, the Jungle, and the Desert, and what they have to teach us about styles of prayer and ways of being with God. The Sheldon retreat centre was a great place to experience being part of the landscape, with its hills and valleys, running streams, ancient woodland and impressive night sky. I even experienced something of ‘the Cave’ when I was in the boot room and the door swung closed behind me – it was pitch black in there! The few steps back to open the door and let in the daylight seemed an awfully long way when I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face!
As you can see, the Sheldon Centre has a beautiful labyrinth – and an ancient woodland full of wild flowers. Hospitality was second to none, and I found the spirituality there to be gentle, spacious, and true. Do go and experience Sheldon for yourself if you get the chance.