Retreat in Daily Life

A chance to:

  • Pause, reflect and recharge your batteries in the midst of everyday life
  • Explore, and receive help with new ways of praying
  • Deepen your relationship with God
  • Inhabit the mystery of inner transformation
  • Ask for light to see the way ahead, or for a decision
  • Be accompanied on your spiritual journey
  • Start exactly where you are; no experience needed

Retreats in Daily Life are usually offered in Edinburgh two or three times a year. We also respond to requests to run one in your community.

NEWS: ‘RDLs’ are arranged by various groups in Edinburgh during the year.  I am also exploring the use of individual ‘Home Retreats’ using Skype for those limited by illness, or caring responsibilities. Please email for details. 

What is a ‘Retreat in Daily Life’?

Traditionally a ‘retreat’ has meant an extended time of silent prayer and reflection, away from home, often in a religious centre such as a monastery or a retreat house.

Although this may be a welcome time for some not everyone can spend the time or money on a residential retreat, or warms to the idea of extended silence.  A ‘retreat in daily life’ is an alternative opportunity to support the spiritual journey, locally to you, with the assistance of a one-to-one prayer guide in the midst of a busy life. In Edinburgh, they usually take place either over one week (meeting your guide each day) or over five weeks (meeting your guide once each week).

Rather than spending time away from the realities of daily living, retreatants bring these into the retreat experience, praying with them, reflecting on them and becoming aware of connections between faith, prayer and everyday life. Any unforeseen events during the retreat are simply integrated into it, as part of life.

Who is it for?

A Retreat in Daily Life is open to all. No particular familiarity with prayer or faith or any particular belief is needed or expected. Each person begins from where they are, no matter what their experience of life. Often retreats attract people who are on the edge of faith or ‘church’ and provide a safe space for exploration. If you are new to taking personal quiet time you are very welcome to join a retreat; if you have experienced a retreat before you are also most welcome. Those who are hurting, scared or angry may come looking for healing and peace; those who have been praying for many years may be looking for encouragement and renewal. All are welcome!

What does it involve?

Usually a Retreat in Daily Life begins with an opening gathering of participants and guides; a valuable time of greeting and orientation, offering some material to begin your retreat and a chance to meet your guide and arrange your one to one meetings for during the retreat. These individual meetings last around 30-45 minutes and usually take place at your guide’s home or place of work.

Photo of Kilmuir chimneyIn between meeting with your guide, you are encouraged to take time to pray and reflect in a way that feels intentional but manageable within your particular daily routine. Your guide may suggest ways of praying, a scripture passage, poem or other material for you to ponder on but the content of your conversations about your prayer and life experiences is highly individual to you and, of course, completely confidential.

To close the retreat everyone gathers again for a final celebration when there is an opportunity to reflect on what has emerged through this time of ‘retreat’. Suggestions for the ongoing journey are also given.

Who runs it?

In Edinburgh, Retreats in Daily Life are most often offered in association with the Epiphany Group. I have been a team coordinator for Retreats in Daily Life and remain available for help in planning and organising retreats in your own area. If you would like to find out about collaborating to offer a retreat in your community please contact

Is there a cost?

Prayer Guides undertake several years of training for this ministry as well as ongoing formation and supervision and, for some, the work of Spiritual Accompaniment/Direction and retreat-giving is an important means of income. Most guides do require a contribution towards their time. There is therefore a suggested donation of around £40 for most retreats of this kind; part or full concessions are available as required.

What people say:


‘Self reflecting time to grow’

‘Greater sense of God’s love for me’

‘Embracing the totality of me’

‘Taking a fresh look at yourself spiritually’

‘A deep breath on the midst of life’s busyness’

‘I really appreciated being able to be so honest about my experiences’

‘Time to explore where you are with God’