Retreats and companions
Getting help with your journey with Jesus Christ is very important. We all need help and support, and we all need to set aside time to deepen our relationship with God and come to know Jesus Christ more intimately.
Many christians have discovered the value of Quiet Days and Retreats. You might have experienced one at some time. You could experience a quiet day as part of the life of the Community of St Hugh. A longer time spent on a retreat is immensely valuable. Some people like to think of it as a 'holiday with God'. Typically you go to a retreat centre, a sort of specialist hotel with rooms for private prayer, talks and time just opening your mind and stilling yourself so you can be receptive to God. There is often a chapel or other place for regular worship. A retreat can be organised, and be for a specific time with a group of people following the same path, or it can be flexible and less structured. It can even be built around a particular prayerful activity, like walking, or painting or music or craft. Some retreats are run in monastic communities, when it is wonderful to plug into the pattern of regular prayer, contemplation and worship of a group of experienced and committed christians.
If you think it might help you, have a chat with one of the clergy team. To explore a bit more, have a look at the website of the Retreat Association.
Sometimes people spend a longer period in a semi-monastic retreat based around a particular approach to living with lines of scripture. This is called an Ignatian Retreat, and comes in longer and shorter forms - it is probably not the thing to do as your first retreat! A centre for such retreats in York can be found here.
From time to time, parishes have their own retreats - this is a time of prayer and quiet, but also of fellowship.
Silence is generally a big part of a retreat - there are usually times of day, sometimes several days at a time, when people are asked to be silent so everyone can focus on God. We often eat together in silence.
People often go off on their own and find a place where they can be really still. It is very good for you, on so many levels.