This year’s PARISH RETREAT is to take place with The Anglican Community of All Hallows at All Hallows House, St. Julian’s Alley, Rouen Road, Norwich, Norfolk from Tuesday 23rd to Friday 26th October.

    THE COMMUNITY, founded in 1855, is a group of women with diverse personalities and gifts called together in a common commitment to prayer and active work under the patronage of The Saints (i.e. All Hallows). Central to their life is The Daily Mass and The Divine Office, combined with time for Personal Prayer, Meditation and Spiritual Reading. Together they draw The Sisters deeper into the desire to “serve Christ in one another and love as He loves us”. This overflows into their Active Works – particularly in their Ministry of Hospitality, expressed mainly through their Guest Houses, Spiritual Direction and Leading Retreats for individuals and small groups. It also includes some Pastoral Ministry in their All Hallows’ Hospital and Nursing Home, which were founded and developed by The Community, but now form a separate Charity. In addition there is a large Conference Centre and a Day Nursery within their grounds. Their former Convent building opposite is now home to an Emmaus Community for the homeless. The Ministry of Hospitality and Prayer continues to flourish in their house in Rouen Road, Norwich, which is closely linked with the adjacent Julian Shrine and Centre, where some of our Services will be taking place. Mother Julian of Norwich (c1342 – after 1413) is a famous English Mystic. Little is known of her life except that she probably lived as an Anchoress, outside the walls of St. Julian’s Church, Norwich. According to her own account she received on 8th May 1373 a series of 15 Revelations in a state of ecstasy, lasting 5 hours. One other Vision followed the next day, and her book, The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love, was written twenty-years after, as the fruits of her Meditations on the original experience which consisted chiefly in Visions of The Passion and of The Holy Trinity. The account of these Visions is embedded in Reflections on The Mysteries of The Faith, in Prayer and especially on The Love of God. In Divine Love lies the clue to all problems of existence, particularly that of evil, which, lacking The Divine Reality, is but an alienation of the human will that serves to reveal the more clearly The Merciful Love of God. (All ‘food for thought’ and Meditation whilst on Retreat!). From The Revelations come Mother Julian of Norwich’s famous words: ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well’, which are recorded in the North-East Stained Glass Window of St. Alban's Sanctuary.

    St. Alban's, Romford has had a long connection with The Community of All Hallows: Father Hingley is a Priest Associate; down the years Sisters have been regular visitors to Our Parish; Confirmation Candidates’ Quiet Days have long taken place at The Convent (as did our last in November 2017) led by one of the Sisters, two of whom appear in the Baptistery Stained Glass Window.

    Rising from the typically flat countryside of Norfolk is a complex of red-brick, Gothic style buildings dominated by the Chapel flèche. The Old Convent and its various houses are situated in spacious grounds in quiet surroundings. Many people came for an opportunity to relax, to be still and to absorb the peace and serenity which prevails. WILL YOU TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY that All Hallows House in Norwich continues to provide for Our 2018 Parish Retreat?

    If you would like to take part in this year’s Annual Retreat please contact Father Hingley who has full details.

    ‘YOUR PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE’ (Ruth 1: 16), The Community Motto.