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Contemplative Weekend Retreat

A series of weekend retreats to help you be more attentive to God’s loving presence in your life and in prayer through contemplative seeing, listening and reading.

Three Weekends. Three Retreats. In Person or Online

We invite you to join us in a series of weekend retreats to learn how to connect to God through the art of contemplative seeing, listening and reading.

In each of the weekend retreats, you will learn different skills and understand how poetry or photography can help you connect with God. Learn how to approach reading, listening or taking photographs in a contemplative way and be given time to practise this. You will also be shown how to pray with one of your images or piece of prose you have chosen.
We invite you all to join us either in person as a weekend resident or as an online participant – united in heart and soul, together for the fresh outpouring on us of the joyful experience of God.

Contemplative Seeing



24th – 26th September 2021
This retreat explores how engaging with art, imagery and photography can be a graced encounter with, and a sacramental experience of, the sacred.

Contemplative Listening



29th – 31st October 2021
In this retreat, we will learn to find God in the busyness of our daily lives, no matter how busy or noisy our individual lives can be.

Contemplative Reading



12th – 14th November 2021
This retreat will explore how to approach the scriptures in a prayerful way and allow the word of God to draw us deeper into the mystery of the Word among us.

Meet our Speakers

Fr Alex Ezechukwu, OCD

Fr. Alex is a Carmelite priest and serves as the prior of the Carmelite community at Boars Hill, Oxford. Fr Alex is a trained spiritual director with many years of pastoral experience in guidance in the spiritual life. He holds a Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Fr Alex also serves as the co-director of Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality.

Audrey Hamilton

Formed in both the Ignatian and Carmelite traditions, Audrey has been working in the field of spirituality for over fifteen years.  Her most recent role was in Spirituality Outreach at the London Jesuit Centre (formerly Mount Street Jesuit Centre) but prior to that she combined a volunteering role on their spirituality team with full time employment in a busy commercial environment. Now retired, she assists the friars at Boars Hill with various spirituality programmes, as well as offering spiritual direction and facilitating contemplative prayer sessions. She holds a Masters Degree in Christian Spirituality from Heythrop College (University of
London).

Berenice Chan

Four years ago, Berenice discovered through the virtual monastery “Abbey of the Arts” how to bring together her hobby photography and her spirituality into a Christian contemplative practice. Berenice is passionate about using contemplative photography to connect with God, receive healing and convey God to others. Since retiring in 2020 she has studied further with Abbey of the Arts to develop her own rule for living a contemplative and creative life.

Contemplative Weekend Retreat Overview

This series of weekend retreats will help us to be attentive to God’s loving presence in our life and in our prayer as we contemplatively see, listen and read.

To help us to see contemplatively, we shall use photography* and works of art.

To help us to listen contemplatively, we shall consider the power of stories and poetry.

To help us to read contemplatively, we shall ponder God’s word in Sacred Reading / Lectio Divina.

Each weekend stands alone and may be attended as such, but taken together they weave a common thread of helping us to take a ‘long, loving look at the real’**.

* no photographic skill or equipment is required beyond a smartphone with camera, though feel free to bring a digital camera if you wish)

**Cf. Walter Burghardt, ‘Contemplation: A Long Loving Look at the Real’ in: George W. Traub, An Ignatian Spirituality Reader (Chicago, IL: Loyola Press, 2008) pp. 89-98. Originally published in 1989.).


Contemplative Weekend Retreat Schedule

Contemplative seeing: 24 – 26 September 2021

Arrive: Friday 4pm

Depart: Sunday 2pm

Come and find how photography can help you connect yourself with God. You will learn how to approach taking photos in a contemplative way and be given time to practice this. Then you will be shown how to pray with one of your images. Please bring a smart phone or camera – fully automatic point and shoot cameras are fine.

Contemplative listening: 29 – 31 October 2021

Arrive: Friday 4pm

Depart: Sunday 2pm

To help us to listen contemplatively, we shall consider the power of stories and poetry.
We learn to find God in the busyness of our daily lives.

Contemplative reading: 12 – 14 November 2021

Arrive: Friday 4pm

Depart: Sunday 2pm

To help us to read contemplatively, we shall ponder God’s word in Sacred Reading / Lectio Divina.

Registration Details

If you have any questions on the below process, please call us on 07849 596572 or email: admin@carmelite.org.uk

Contemplative Seeing Weekend Retreat (Online)

24th – 26th September 2021

By clicking register, you will be taken straight to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£60 per person

Contemplative Seeing Weekend Retreat (Residential)

24th – 26th September 2021

By clicking register, you will be asked to complete a short form and will then be taken to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£250 per person

Contemplative Listening Weekend Retreat (Online)

29th – 31st October 2021

By clicking register, you will be taken straight to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£60 per person

Contemplative Listening Weekend Retreat (Residential)

29th – 31st October 2021

By clicking register, you will be asked to complete a short form and will then be taken to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£250 per person

Contemplative Reading Weekend Retreat (Online)

12th – 14th November 2021

By clicking register, you will be taken straight to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£60 per person

Contemplative Reading Weekend Retreat (Residential)

12th – 14th November 2021

By clicking register, you will be asked to complete a form and then straight to our new payment portal. You may be required to sign up.

£250 per person