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Launde Retreat 2015

Lincoln Readers Retreat 2015 Launde Abbey

For anyone returning to Launde it certainly was a 're-treat' in a most beautiful setting!A weekend blessed with rain and sunshine, good food, fellowship and a comfortable bed - and of course, some thought provoking sessions led by our Warden sally Buck!There were a couple of spare places - so if you've never been on a Reader Retreat - do consider it next year!When we introduced ourselves it was clear that we had travelled from all points of the Diocese. Many of us trained together but do not have an opportunity to meet up frequently. It was good to catch up! I was pleased to welcome our most recent colleague Claire Lindsay from Lincoln. Thank you to Sally for all the effort she put into the weekend and her friend Revd Helen who led our Sunday Eucharist. It was not all serious - we had some laughs - especially during our Saturday night 'Guess the Vocalist' Music Quiz. One team romped away with 15 correct answers out of a possible 20. Most impressive! The extra hour in bed meant we were not in a hurry to turn in.Thank you to those who came on retreat and our hosts at launde. The community made us very welcome!At 5am on Saturday morning I put on my Hudl tablet and these words came to mind.... I did indeed leave Launde feeling blessed with the thought: 'He had warmed my heart, stirred my soul and filled me with hope!' J.M.

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Rowena Ward-Barrow Reflects...'I have known Launde since 1989/90 when I commenced my Reader training in Leicester Diocese. Launde was significantly revamped in the period 2007-10 and everything is certainly rather more luxurious than it was in those earlier days!Our Reader weekend retreat, led by our Warden, Sally Buck, was excellent. We have had interesting away weekends in previous years but they have been fairly action packed with visits and talks. This time, we worked our way through the Gospel of Mark but in a much more relaxed and thought provoking way, with plenty of time to go off and 'do our own thing', whether being creative or contemplative. It was much more relaxed and therefore, in my thinking, more of a retreat. Little silence though, as we were a jolly bunch and had many laughs together!Saturday it poured with rain and some of us ventured out for a walk. Avoiding the deep horse rutted mud of a bridleway, we opted to take what looked like a footpath (unmarked) and ended up walking round the 4 sides of a large field and back to where we'd left the track. As we did so, the rain abated and we walked back to Launde for a quick shower or whatever before tea. It was good to get out in the fresh air and walk off some of the excellent food we partook of over the weekend!On Sunday, Revd Helen joined us at coffee time, for the rest of our time at Launde. In the service of Holy Communion which she presided at in the afternoon, she gave us some thought provoking stuff, much based on her prison ministry experience. We had a box of windfall apples in front ofthe altar with other creative pieces and contributions from each of us as we'd reflected on the gospel and the weekend. Helen focused on the apple with the thought that living life is like a fresh crisp apple as you bite into it. 'Enjoy it while its fresh. Don't leave it till its past its best.'

Sally Buck's thoughts at Launde Where are you Lord?Follow me and fish for people YOU said.Well, we hardly had to fish did we?They flooded our space,drained your strengthand pushed us aside... >>

Two Retreats and a Licensing... I was licensed as a Reader last October. Now the dust has settled and prompted by the arrival of my first Reader return, I am finally getting around to writing something about it.The licensing service itself was very moving and joyful. Once we had managed to correctly make our declarations to the Bishop before the service, I relaxed a bit. Like many others I suspect, the journey to licensing was not always an easy one. Having struggled for a long time with feelings of not quite being in the right place I was delighted at the service to feel that I was exactly where I should be. I felt a sense of affirmation both from God and from those present at the service. It was a privilege to be licensed alongside five colleagues with whom I have shared many experiences over three years training. That the licensing took place within the service where the other Readers in the Diocese had their licenses renewed added to the occasion as well. That, and the fact that the licensing took place as part of the annual Reader's service was a good reminder that the service was not just about those being licensed but all Readers in the Diocese. It was great to see so many gathered together and lovely to see a good number of Readers in training present as well. The whole service was a powerful witness to the many and varied expressions of Reader ministry across our Diocese and an expression of both its diverse and collaborative nature.I had the privilege of getting to know other Readers at the Reader retreat at Launde Abbey at the end of October. Having been meaning to go on retreat for a while, I was now doing two in a month as I had been on the pre-licensing retreat as well. Having got slightly lost on the way there in the dark and proving once again that navigating is not my top skill (Launde really is in the middle of the countryside) it was quite a relief to arrive.Sally Buck led the retreat which was on Mark's Gospel. Over the weekend we enjoyed praying and worshipping together and sharing fellowship over meals, We also explored the beautiful grounds of Launde when the rain stopped. I suspect I arrived at Launde a bit shell-shocked from the business of life leading up to the licensing and organising things at home so I could leave my family to go on retreat for the second time in a fortnight. I had survived the pre-licensing retreat – parts of which were in silence – and found that very intense and moving. This retreat was rather more relaxed which was a good thing as it turned out what I needed was a bit of time and space to decompress.My experience at Launde was one of being in gentle companionship with God. I enjoyed the quiet but it wasn't an intense contemplative silence. Once I relaxed I started to accept what was happening which was some non-pressured processing of what had already happened and some preparation of body and soul for what was to come. So whilst in some ways it felt a little uneventful it was actually an important lesson – to live in the moment a little more, to pay attention to what body and mind require and to allow processing at a deeper level. I like to be in control, to have a plan and to know what happens next, the retreat at Launde calmed me down a bit. One of my aims this year is to allow things to unfold and happen and to seek God more in the now and the ordinary. Clare Lindsay



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