Ode to Autumn Walking Retreats - Back for 2022!
'Thank you Brian for such a beautiful afternoon, I left feeling truly refreshed and blessed!' Rachel, 2017
'Yesterday was absolutely wonderful – quite literally full of wonder! Thank you so much for leading it with such sensitivity and openness and helping us to see so much we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.' Marianne, 2018
Thurs September 29 [FULL], Weds October 5 [FULL], Sat Oct 8 [FULL], Tues Oct 11 [FULL] or Fri Oct 14 [FULL]
12.45pm - 6.30pm, in Winchester, Hampshire.
Autumn is a uniquely evocative season - colourful, fruitful, soulful, bountiful! And that's why I love to get outside and get in to it, to feel its pull again, to breathe its air, to listen for all that it has to teach afresh.
In this half-day walking retreat in Hampshire, we use John Keats’ ode ‘To Autumn’ - written here in Winchester! – for poetic inspiration as we walk, share, pause, listen, and step into a richer kind of space together.
We gather by Winchester Cathedral for an afternoon’s walk (of about five miles) which takes in the water meadows where Keats once strolled, the steepish climb to St Catherine’s Hill and its lovely turf labyrinth, and then a gentle meander along the river Itchen.
As we go, we're as present as we can be (through contemplative practice) to the season, to our surroundings, and to God within it all. We consider the nature of our own journey, walk the labyrinth, make space for silence, stillness and personal reflection, and return for evensong at the cathedral (which is usually choral, though sometimes it's 'spoken').
Ode to Autumn is an essential part of the rhythm of my own year, and after two years' break for Covid, I'm so delighted to step back into that rhythm again! So why not join me for a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the turning of this particular season.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place for 2022.
First come, first served. I'll e-mail you back to confirm your booking.
The suggested donation remains £20 (please pay on the day itself).
Just Before You Book - A Few Extra Details
Please only book the Saturday if you cannot make a weekday, so that people who work in the week can come too!
The walk itself is predominantly flat - apart from the ascent of St Catherine's Hill, which is a mix of steps and a chalky path. For a short section, it's relatively steep and strenuous! You don't need to be an Olympian to scale it, but you'll want to be steady on your feet.
We're standing up for most of the afternoon, from 12.45 through to 5ish when we return for evensong at the cathedral. There aren't many benches en route so you might like to bring something to sit down on, if you want to sit on the grass occasionally, like a light coat.
There are toilets close to our meeting point at the cathedral, but none after that until we return at 5pm.
I don't take deposits or donations up front as I like to keep the whole thing personal and trusting. And I fully understand if circumstances change suddenly or dramatically - no one can help that! But please try not to drop out too casually close to the day, as someone could have taken your place. Thanks!
There is no plan B if the weather isn't good. I have only ever had to cancel one retreat in advance because of an extreme weather forecast. If the forecast is bad, I'll be in touch about it. Otherwise, simply dress sensibly - it's usually wonderful to be outside whatever the weather!
The retreat flows from my contemplative Christian faith. I've found that people of many different backgrounds have enjoyed and benefited from my work, but please be aware that it will contain Christian reflection!
I'll send you further instructions upon booking, including how to donate, etc.
I hope you can join me!
And remember: please e-mail email@example.com to reserve your place for 2022.