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8 Nov 2018

Swiss Archdeaconry retreat

Summer moved into winter during the days of the retreat held by the Swiss Archdeaconry at the beautiful location of Grimmialp in the Bernese Oberland, in late October. We arrived on Friday during unseasonably warm weather, we woke on Saturday morning to see snow on the hills above us, and by Sunday morning the snow was all around! For one member of the group it was their very first experience of snow.

The title of the retreat was ‘Following Jesus through the Four Gospels’, and the themes of journeying and pilgrimage resonated through the reflections and worship over the weekend. In their exploration the leaders of the retreat, Alan and Clare Amos, drew on the draft diocesan rule of life, which itself explores the theme of journeying and takes the story of the journey to Emmaus (Luke 24.13-35) as its starting point.

The retreat was organised by Rev Hilary Jones as part of her work in coordinating the Swiss Archdeaconry Continuing Education Programme (SACEP). The (comparatively) small size of the Archdeaconry of Switzerland allows for a number of events each year which bring together people from the different chaplaincies for mutual encouragement and learning under the auspices of SACEP. This year’s retreat was an experience that was appreciated by those who participated – helped by the beauty of our location and the unique hospitality of the Hotel Kurhaus.