Tasmanian Women’s Retreat

Annual retreat at Blackmans Bay

In the business of day-to-day living, going away for a weekend on retreat is a wonderful opportunity to spend time – living and building community with a group of 14 like-minded women, listening to God and being immersed in God’s creation.

To realise that God has been preparing us to be receptive, awake and allow God to speak and touch us … to have the opportunity to receive what God gives us … is so wonderful and amazing.

This was the introduction to a fabulous weekend.

Our Annual Retreat was held on the weekend of 21–23 October 2016 at Mary Knoll, Blackmans Bay and conducted by the Revd John Stewart, founding director of the Living Well Centre and now the co-director of the spiritual direction formation program. The Centre is based at St George’s Anglican Church in Malvern, Victoria. He led us on a journey of change. We first encountered ‘the chapel’ turned around with a screen to view the presentations during our talks. This was very fitting for our first pathway: Autumn and insights from Matthew ‘How do we face change?’

With poems from David Whyte, passages from Scripture, hymns and times of worship during the day, we were encouraged to respond and reflect on the ‘four pathways’.

Winter: ’How do we move through suffering? Crossing Mark’s stormy sea. Spring: ’How do we receive joy?’ looking at John’s glorious garden. Then finally (one of the most difficult tasks), Summer: ‘How do we mature in service?’ by walking Luke’s journey.

John explained that the Gospels are written about the mystery of God. With the question on our lips ‘What is the Holy Spirit calling us to do?’ we all went away rejoicing in peace, preparedness and open to the future.

Story and photos by Judy Maplestone (Associate with CSC)

The Annual Retreat is in its 87th year. Originally run at St Michael’s Collegiate School, for the last 19 years it has been held at Mary Knoll Retreat House. Our next retreat will be held on the middle weekend of the Spring School Holidays Friday 6 Oct to Sunday 8 October 2017. The retreat is open to ALL women who have an interest and call to grow on their spiritual journey.


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