Normally yesterday would have been the first quiet day of the term. Last year that involved total silence around the college buildings from compline on Tuesday evening until 8.30am on Thursday. However this term due to other events in college the day became condensed. We met for compline on Tuesday evening and then a talk from +Michael, followed by silence. Wednesday we were in silence from waking and had morning prayer followed by +Michael's second talk then a couple of hours for reflection followed by silent lunch, service in the middle of the day and third talk by +Michael. Then just an hour later the bell went for the end of silence and we collected outside near the new building s for the blessing of the stones. This was a celebration of the college and the new building work. From that those of us in the choir or altar party went to church for rehearsals. This was followed at 5.15pm with a Service for All Souls.
The quiet day retreats are never easy in college but this last one has been anything but retreat like. We seemed to rush from one place to another not just physically but spiritually without time to reflect and absorb what we had heard. The change as well from quiet reflection, to celebration and back to the reflective requiem style service left us all a little disorientated.
Our thoughts have been fed back - and I do appreciate that it was an unusual combination of events that wouldn't normally happen. It reminded us all that when working in parishes we need to carry a single thought through a service.
After all that I am shattered and wishing it was half term this weekend and that I had been sensible and booked a few days away instead of staying in college and doing placement on Sunday.