The beautiful Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland, was the venue for the annual Connor Diocese Continuing Education in Ministry (CEM) Retreat. This is a small Scottish island situated in the Firth of Clyde, just a short ferry ride from the west coast town of Largs in Ayrshire. This retreat centre belongs to the Episcopal Church of Scotland and is in the Diocese of Argyle and the Isles.
An 18-strong group of curates and tutors accompanied by the Bishop of Connor and the Archdeacons of Belfast and Dalriada travelled by ferry and car from Larne on Monday May 16, arriving at the College of the Holy Spirit, Cumbrae, late afternoon.
After evening prayer in the adjacent Cathedral of the Isles, Britain’s smallest Cathedral, and dinner, the group had its first session with this year’s speaker, the Bishop himself, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.
Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline were held in the Cathedral of the Isles and the Eucharist was celebrated in the Cathedral on Tuesday May 17 and Wednesday May 18.
The group had both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons free to explore the island. The more energetic ran or cycled right round the island, a distance of about 10 miles. Others drove round or simply explored the little town of Millport. Some walked to the top of the only hill on the island, or read and rested. There was some free time each evening to relax and enjoy the fellowship of the retreat.
Over the course of the retreat, Bishop Alan led seven sessions on the topic of ‘Shadows on the Journey,’ sharing some of the ideas in his forthcoming book of the same title (Columba Press, expected September 2011). Tutors on the retreat were Mrs Laurie Randall, the Rev Denise Acheson, the Rev Raymond Fox and the Rev Ken Houston.
The group returned home on Thursday May 19.
Visit our Photo Gallery for more pictures.