As the nights draw in, the temperature plummets and the leaves fall from the trees, nature seems to communicate to us that this is a good time of year to reflect on life’s bigger questions, such as what is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? What happens to us when we die? Reflecting the natural season of autumn we find that November is the month in the liturgical calendar for remembering the holy souls in purgatory. So this weekend was an ideal opportunity to start the month off well by praying for them and asking for their intercession too.

Over the weekend the priest gave a series of meditations on different aspects of Christian life including the sacraments and our Christian vocation. He gave us ideas on how to sanctify our work and gave us lots of tips on prayer. Although the timetable was full, we still had time for ourselves. It was great to get some fresh air and walk in the grounds and visit the lake. Hidden away was the holy family shrine which was a perfect spot to walk to and say the rosary or a few quiet prayers. If it was too cold to be outside, we spent time in our cosy rooms, reflecting on the meditations and talks and pondering on our own intentions that we had come away with.

Here’s what two attendees had to say about their experience of the retreat:

“I spent a weekend retreat in Thornycroft. The house is lovely, warm and welcoming. It makes you feel as if you were at home. The chapel is very beautiful and you can go for walks around the lake. You will find the peace you need by staying at Thornycroft. The bedrooms are very nicely decorated. Most importantly, the food they prepare is outstandingly delicious. I would come again without any doubt. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to relax and get some spiritual energy to fuel their hectic everyday life.”


“I’ve never been on a silent retreat before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s been like a spa weekend for the soul! The meditations and points of guidance from the priest have been lovely. Thornycroft is a very peaceful and welcoming setting to listen to God without distraction. It’s been great to meet other young Catholics too.”