Quiet Days book review

Creative Ideas for Quiet Days by Sue Pickering – from Canterbury Press – £14.99

Many folk in churches are picking up on the idea of a day retreat or quiet day. These are particularly popular during Advent and Lent. It is common for retreat houses and religious communities to offer to organise and host such activities, but that is not the only way that they can happen. A do-it-yourself approach is an attractive option for some groups and may be essential for individuals taking time out on their own.

In a busy and ever changing world, taking a specific, if relatively short, period for reflection and renewal is obvious common sense. Such a time can allow people to renew their vision and replenish their energy. This book attempts to be a comprehensive resource for all who are seeking such spiritual refreshment by taking time out of the fast lane.

Sue Pickering’s book contains twelve complete day-long programmes. These take different themes, of which some are appropriate at particular times of the Christian Year. There are ideas that will suit different ages and differing pastoral contexts.

The sessions described each include opening worship, a couple of short talks, two reflection exercises and prayers and blessings. Some of these activities might also be of use for house-groups and other small groups within congregations. However, the idea here is firmly orientated towards the Quiet Day context and there are leaders’ notes on all practical aspects of planning and conducting such a day, from booking the venue to handout templates. Some of the resources for the group and individual exercises are designed to be photocopied and handed out.

An appendix contains a helpful recipe for playdough.

Sue Pickering is an Anglican priest who was born in England but who now lives in New Zealand where she acts as a Spiritual Director and Retreat Leader.

Reviewer: Dr Howell Shivknot

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