Today we had our Leavers' Retreat - a day at Highmoor Hall, led by the college chaplain, Raymond. He gave us some thought-provoking insights on baggage (what we need to leave behind), luggage (what we will be taking with us) and buggage - the recognition that there are some things we would like to leave behind but for whatever reason can't quite do so, at least not completely, not yet.
In addition, I did a fair bit of reading, walking, and (unusually for me in the daytime) napping. We then ended with Raymond anointing each of us with the oil of joy and gladness, which was a lovely way to finish, and prepare us for the Leavers' Service tomorrow morning.
I will blog about that and how I feel to be leaving later. But what I really want to pick out from today is the importance of retreats. It is shameful to admit that I did not have one retreat in my time as a Church Army Officer (9 years) - which is shocking, really. I will have a pre-ordination retreat in September, but I am determined to make the time for one retreat a year post-ordination. It is so important to take proper time out with God, and to do so away from the parish. Ask me in a year's time if I have managed it!
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