Sacred Earth: A Contemplative Spiritual Retreat

Aug. 24th-31st 2024 at Bishop's House Retreat Centre, Iona

If you'd like to be added to the wait list please contact me

Come to the sacred island of Iona, where together we will practice listening to the voice of Creation within & all around us.

Retreat leaders: Simon de Voil & Linden de Voil

We will gather at the “thin place” of Iona, off the coast of Scotland, where heaven and earth are said to press very close to one another. Barely three miles long and one mile wide, this small sacred isle holds a profound peace and breathtaking beauty that touches everyone who goes there. St. Columba (or Colum Cillein Gaelic) established the first Celtic Church and monastic community here in 563 CE, and it is to the roots of that tradition that we will turn, to explore howcontemporary spiritual practices converge with the ancient wisdom of the monks.

Join us for a 7 day transformational journey, deepening our connection to the sacred through our relationship with the natural world and through mindful spiritual practices. Ritual, community worship, poetry, body prayer, meditation, journaling, music and movement will be our tools to deeply listen to the voice of The Great Mystery. We will walk the landscape of Iona together as pilgrims, wandering to special places on the island to embrace the wilderness and to pray with nature.

You will be in excellent hands on this journey. Retreat leader Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil was born and raised in Scotland, and knows the island well. He first came to Iona as a baby in his mother’s womb, and he spent much of his childhood roaming her rocky hills and beaches. Simon returned to live and work at the Abbey at Iona from 2006 to 2008. Simon says of Iona, “She is ‘my island’ because in some inexplicable way I belong to her, and I am in her service.” 

Simon is an ordained interfaith minister specializing in sacred song and chant. Drawing on decades of experience as a musician, counselor, and group leader, Simon creates space for spiritual practice and celebration that welcomes us all into the embrace of the divine mystery.

Linden de Voil is a writer and educator in the field of plant medicine, natural health, and earth-based spiritual practice. Her work invites us to strengthen our innate belonging to the more-than-human, living world through curiosity, observation, and delight.

What to Expect

August 24th, 2024

Travel to Iona, where your guides will meet you as you step off the ferry.

You'll start your island journey from Oban, the nearest mainland city. Oban itself is a three hour train journey from Glasgow; you can either arrive in Oban on Friday and stay overnight at your choice of hotel or B&B, or take an early morning train from Glasgow.