Category: Events

Summer silent retreat: Walking by the River

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We warmly invite you to join us on our summer silent retreat, “Walking by the River”, which will take place

From Thursday 25 August 2022 at 19h00 (no dinner provided that evening)

To Sunday 28 August 2022 at around 16h00

This retreat, open to all Christians in Belgium aged 18+, offers space to spend a long week-end with God using the theme “walking by the river”. There will be a maximum of 16 participants, including three leaders. The retreat will largely be in silence (with input/suggestions for guided prayer from the leaders).

Those leaders are Bess Brooks and Sonja Stark (St Paul’s, Tervuren) and Ann Milton (Holy Trinity, Brussels).

The price is 175 euros which includes:

  • overnight accommodation in ensuite single bedrooms (couples sleep separately on the retreat) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights
  • all meals on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday
  • tea, coffee, water throughout
  • print-outs of texts used for guided prayer, if any

Booking opens 14 June. If you are interested, please EITHER leave a comment below OR email and we will send you a booking link

Other practical Information


Centre Spirituel Ignatien La Pairelle

25, rue Marcel Lecompte

5100 Wepion (Namur)

If you don’t have a car or want to drive with someone, please email AFTER BOOKING YOUR PLACE FROM 14 JUNE and Bess, Sonja or Ann will try and put you in touch with other participants (this can’t be guaranteed).

Arrival & departure time

Please arrive between 19h00 and 19h30 on Thursday evening.  NO dinner is provided that evening so please eat before you come.

Our first meeting starts at 20h00 on Thursday evening.

We end around 16h00 on Sunday afternoon.

To bring (intended to be a helpful list, not exhaustive)

  • Sheets and pillowcase for single bed and towels (you have your own bathroom!!).  Please note: SHEETS and not a duvet cover.  The pillows are usually square – you might wish to bring your own pillow and pillow-case in you prefer something different
  • Journal/notebook and pen
  • Bible
  • House shoes
  • Your medication (no pharmacy close by)
  • All toiletries
  • Comfortable clothes and walking shoes (the spiritual center is in a nice area where there are many opportunities for walking)
  • Appropriate outdoor clothing e.g. sun-hat, raincoat etc.  You will benefit from time outside whatever the weather
  • Your own snacks if you have allergies/ intolerances, or you want something special to snack on
  • Books and other activities as you wish, but don’t bring too many! Remember that you will also need time just to be with God without distraction and to pray.

(Optional, depending on your own interests):

  • Artist’s sketchpad and pencils
  • Camera (or mobile phone with integrated camera)


Please let us know if you have any questions.  EITHER leave a comment below OR email and one of us will answer.

We are looking forward to this special time we will have together

Bess, Sonja and Ann

Day Retreat – “The Inner Garden”

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When:                Saturday 26 March 2022

Time:                  10 am to 4 pm

Where:               Les Fraternites du Bon Pasteur, Rue au Bois  365 B, 1150 Brussels

Who:                  Everyone, men and women, aged 18+, maximum of 12 participants

Cost:                   15 euros to cover room hire and coffee,        BRING OWN LUNCH

Bring:                 Bible, notepad and pen, or equivalent, LUNCH

Leaders:             Bess Brooks (St Paul’s), Sonja Stark (St Paul’s), Ann Milton (Holy Trinity)

Questions?:       Leave a comment below, or email and one of us will answer

Space within a small group setting to consider your inner life in our current circumstances using the analogy of a garden.

What’s growing in your garden at the moment? 

Does anything need attention? 

What might be flourishing in 6 months’ time? 

Consider these questions with guided scripture readings, meditation and suggestions for prayer. The full programme is given below. A large part of the day will be spent in silence.

Booking open from 15 February via this link

We look forward to meeting you there.

Bess, Sonja and Ann

The Inner Garden, Saturday 26 March 2022, Programme for Participants

10.00Welcome, coffee, orientation in building  
10.30Introduction to the theme of the day, and time to quieten ourselves  
10.45Prayer We enter into silence  
11.00Imaginative exercise “What does my garden look like at the moment?”  
11.30Time for personal reflection “Different aspects of my garden”  
12.40Feedback session  
13.00Lunch (we eat our packed lunches together in silence)  
13.30Centering Prayer  
13.40Lectio Divina using a passage of scripture relevant to the theme  
14.00Time for personal reflection “What would I like to grow in my garden?” “Where shall I find the seeds?”  
15.15Coffee Group reflection “Bringing our gardens together within the gardner-ship of God”  
15.30Feedback forms  
15.45Time to prayerfully reflect on the day We come out of silence  

Please note:  there might be slight changes of timing and content to the programme on the day itself

MEN’S RETREAT: Between freedom and safety: 12-14 November

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Spiritual pathways for late-modern men

Our good friend Armin Kummer of “Emmausmänner”, the men’s ministry at Deutsche Evangelische Gemeinde in Belgien, together with Chris Martin will be leading a men’s retreat from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th November at Marsedous Abbey. PLEASE NOTE: this is NOT a Godspace/St Paul’s event – we are publicising the retreat in case it is of interest to readers of this site.

The Retreat

After last year’s virtual retreat, we very much look forward to returning physically to Maredsous Abbey for our annual ecumenical men’s retreat 2021. Inspired by biblical passages and our diverse life experiences, we shall reflect on what in the context of the pandemic has often been presented as the dichotomy of liberty versus safety. Throughout history, people have attempted to navigate between these two poles. Led by Chris Martin and Armin Kummer, we will explore through individual reflection, group discussions, and spiritual exercises how our Christian tradition allows us to overcome this dichotomy and integrate both elements fruitfully into our daily lives. We look forward to enjoying God’s presence in the unique environment of Maredsous Abbey and among our international community of men. We will also enjoy the privilege of joining the Abbey’s Benedictine monks in their prayers.

The Abbey

Founded in 1872 in the Molignée Valley by Benedictine monks, Maredsous Abbey is built in the neo-gothic style, matching the wooded, undulating terrain of the region. The buildings of the Abbey encompass the church that dominates the cloister, the monastery and the library, various outbuildings, a school of applied arts and crafts, and the Saint Joseph Visitors Centre. The monks of Maredsous Abbey have adopted the Rule of Saint Benedict, a book of precepts for monastic life divided between prayer, work and a tradition of hospitality. Firmly rooted in contemporary society, the monks at Maredsous have developed an economy that meets the requirements of the sacred as well as the needs of the community.  Each monk is assigned a precise task: some teach, others work in the library in various areas of research, on the Bible, and in the Information Technology Centre, or work for the administrative service running the Abbey. The monks also take turns in the shops or at the dairy and in welcoming visitors.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin lives with his wife on the south side of Edinburgh, frequently helping out at Anglican congregations in continental Europe. Before his retirement in 2013, he worked for 25 years in parishes in Scotland and in France. His small band of heroes includes Eugene Peterson and John le Carré. Chris struggles with bankers, lawyers, and BREXIT politicians. 

Armin Kummer

Since completion of his pastoral training at Deutschsprachige Evangelische Gemeinde in Belgien (DEGB), Armin has been working as full-time theologian and researcher at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of KU Leuven. In 2019, his book on “Men, Spirituality, and Gender-specific Biblical Hermeneutics” was published by Peeters. Prior to his theological career, Armin worked for the EU and in management consulting. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and daughters – preferably in the Bavarian Alps, but more often in the Flemish Brabant.



Safety Rules:


From Friday 12 November at 18:00 until Sunday 14 November at 15:00

Abbaye de Maredsous, Rue de Maredsous 11, 5537 Denée, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)82 69 82 11,  

Double vaccination is a prerequisite! 

The number of participants is limited to 15.

Wearing a mask is required in certain parts of the Abbey.

Please send us a pdf of your CovidSafe Ticket or CovPass together with your registration. Your proof of vaccination will be checked again, together with your ID-card, by our hosts upon arrival. 

Accommodation will be in single bedrooms. Bedding and towels will be provided. All meals and coffee during breaks are included. Please bring a Bible, a notebook and a pen. Please also bring clothes and shoes suitable for outdoor activities in November. 


We encourage everybody to organize car sharing for the journeys to Maredsous and back to Brussels. To avoid the traffic leaving Brussels on a Friday evening and to ensure arrival at Maredsous in good time for the start of the retreat, please note that cars will need to leave Brussels on Friday 12 November no later than 16:00. Please check that you will be able to do this before signing up for the retreat.

Registration: If you are interested to register, please contact us at

GODSPACE QUIET AFTERNOON: an invitation to wait : Saturday November 27th

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As we enter the season of advent, can we hear God inviting us into a period of waiting?  Is waiting always passive or is there something active, a part we can play?  What does it mean to wait for the Christ-child when we’ve done so much waiting over the last two years? 

Godspace offers an afternoon’s retreat, to allow a small number of people to gather and take time to think, pray and reflect upon their waiting with God.

Leaders Bess Brooks, Ann Milton and Sonja Stark will guide us through the afternoon, including prayer, an imaginative meditation and a time for reflection. There will be a period of silence in which to walk, pray, write, draw, as people wish.  Our hope is that the afternoon will provide refreshment and a chance to prepare for advent with God.


What:  Afternoon retreat for up to 15 people, men and women (3 leaders, 12 participants)

Where:  St Anthony’s church, Kraainem (in the church hall and using the grounds)

When:  Saturday 27 November 2021

What time:  1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Who is leading?:  Bess Brooks and Sonja Stark (St Paul’s, Tervuren),  Ann Milton (Holy Trinity, Brussels)

What does it cost:  5 euros to include coffee  – eat your lunch before you come!

Programme:  to include prayers, meditation on an Old Testament story, silent reflection on the Christmas Story and a chance to respond

How do I book?:  Click on this link and fill in the relevant details

How do I pay?: 

5 euros by bank transfer before 20 November 2021 to 

Account name: The Chaplain of St Paul’s,    IBAN: BE813 100 9133 8724,  BIC: BBRUBEBB,    

Address: Hoornzeelstraat 24, 3080 Tervuren

Please add the message “Godspace retreat 27 November 2021”

Questions?: Please email and either Bess, Ann or Sonja will respondGodspace  ( is an ecumenical project with the aim of providing space for reflection for Christians in Belgium.  It is supported by St Paul’s, Tervuren (

Retreat Programme

     13.30 arrive, coffee

                        13.45 welcome, explanation, 

                        14.00 prayer

                        14.15 imaginative meditation: Jacob waits for God’s blessing

                        14.45 reflection on characters from the nativity stories, introduced by the team and then time for the participants to reflect on their own

                        15.45 coffee and time to share if wished 

                        16.00 (approx.) soaking Taize music 

                        16.20 (approx) final thoughts and blessing

                        16.30 END

Please note:

1 minor details within the programme could be subject to change

2 Godspace is seeking to offer retreats to a variety of people so we are experimenting with timing. We hope this pattern of an afternoon will suit some who cannot or do not wish to give up the whole day.

Draw aside – return refreshed

green water between brown trees during daytime

Day Retreat 28 August 2021

As we emerge from the strangeness of the last year/ 18 months, with all that has meant for us, our loved ones and our Church communities, perhaps we need a moment to reflect on what has happened and to gather strength or a new perspective for the future.  Godspace offers a day retreat, where a small number of people can gather and take time to think, pray and imagine.

Leaders Bess Brooks, Ann Milton and Sonja Stark will guide us through prayers for our time, meditations on the psalms and there will be periods of silence in which to walk, pray, write, draw, as people wish.  Our hope is that the day will provide refreshment and a chance to (re)focus on God and to think about the future.

What are we offering?


What:  Day retreat for up to 15 people (3 leaders, 12 participants)

Where:  La Bergerie, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, 

When:  Saturday 28 August 2021

What time:  10 am – 3 pm

Who is leading?:  Bess Brooks and Sonja Stark (St Paul’s, Tervuren),  Ann Milton (Holy Trinity, Brussels)

What does it cost:  15 euros to include coffee and cold drinks – please bring your own packed lunch

Programme:  to include prayers for our time, meditations on the psalms, opportunities for silent reflection and creative response – see full programme below or on website

How do I book?:  Click on this link  and fill in the relevant details

How do I pay?:  15 euros by bank transfer before 21 August 2021 to

Account name: The Chaplain of St Paul’s,    IBAN: BE813 100 9133 8724, 


Address: Hoornzeelstraat 24, 3080 Tervuren

Please add the message “Godspace retreat 28 August 2021”

Questions?: Please email and either Bess, Ann or Sonja will respond

Godspace  ( is an ecumenical project with the aim of providing space for reflection for Christians in Belgium.  It is supported by St Paul’s, Tervuren (

day retreat programme

10.00   Coffee

10.15   Introduction

10.30   Welcome liturgy/ prayers

11.00   Reflection on a psalm of lament (lectio divina)

11.30   Personal response – time to walk, pray, reflect, write….

12.10   Sharing response (if wished)

12.30   Lunch (please bring own sandwiches, drinks provided)

13.00   Midday prayer

13.10   Reflection on psalm of joy/ looking forward (lectio divina)

13.30   Response – time to walk, pray, reflect, write…., to consider the future with a new perspective.

14.10   Sharing response (if wished)

14.30   Closing liturgy/ prayers

15.00   End

Please note: minor details within the programme could be subject to change

Lent 2021 Knowing Jesus

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Christ painting

Godspace invites you to participate in an ONLINE Lent course run by the Ignatian Spirituality Centre (ISC), Glasgow, UK, on the theme of Knowing Jesus.  The course runs from Ash Wednesday (17 February) until the first Sunday of Easter (11 April).  You will receive a daily email inviting you to spend a short period of time of your own choosing in daily prayer, scripture reading, reflection, enjoying art and music, plus an online weekly meeting with 6-10 others to discuss the impact of the course. ISC (and Godspace) do not charge for this course.

For more information, and to sign up for the course, please go directly to and subscribe there.  If you’d like to join a “local” online lunchtime meeting on Mondays, 13h05 to 13h50 CET, facilitated by Godspace leader Ann Milton DO NOT FILL IN THE SECTION ABOUT JOINING AN ONLINE GROUP ON THE ICS SITE.  Instead, please let Ann know you are interested by leaving a comment below.  Ann needs to know numbers by the end of Friday 12 February so please don’t delay 😊.

Testimonies Retreats Namur

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2017, 2018, 2019


Seldom was I able to more deeply work through and engage with a bible passage as at the silent retreat.  Tom

It was my first silent retreat experience. I’d recommend it as great taster course as 24 hours silence is already a lot for a beginner! To be honest it was sometimes uncomfortable but there were many more positives than negatives and I enjoyed sharing the experience with a group. I enjoyed the fact that everyone had the freedom to choose which group sessions to attend and how to spend their time but there was a structure to the weekend. The location was beautiful and the booklet we used was stimulating and well put together    Stephen

For a first-timer at a silent retreat, everything was clearly explained, well organised with an excellent ratio between group sessions and alone time in a beautiful location … and the sun shone the whole weekend.  It far exceeded my expectations and the time with God was so very precious.  Looking forward to a return visit if dates allow.  Miriam

So 2018 was the shorter 2 day retreat:  A taster (so good) leaving me wanting more. Sheila

The retreat for me was an opportunity to really slow down and to explore different ways that God might speak to me.   Jonathan

A very relaxing weekend in beautiful surroundings with a lot of freedom on how to spend your time. I enjoyed the guided meditations, the prayer stations and meeting God in a very personal way.  Karen 

The silent retreat was a wonderful experience for me! A true opportunity to stop, listen and reflect – a luxury in our busy world! And I could even spoil myself a bit – with no schedule, good food and beautiful nature – all of these did well to my soul. Can’t wait for the next one :-)! Veronika

Silent Retreat August 2021


After such a complex year, perhaps you feel in need of spiritual relaxation and refreshment?  Godspace is offering a silent, group retreat in English in August 2021 in the peaceful surroundings of La Pairelle, Namur

Stay in the well-appointed Emmaus retreat house (each bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom) and benefit from an extended period of silence together with teaching on prayer and meditation in a small group setting (around 15 people in total per retreat).  Please note that couples stay in separate bedrooms on retreat. 

Put the dates in your diary now

Thursday 26  to Sunday 29 August (begins 7 pm Thursday evening)


Numbers are very limited for each retreat, around a dozen participants plus leaders.  So, do book early to avoid disappointment.  Booking for the August retreat opens later this year (please revisit the website for details) and all information will be on the website then.


As with any event this year, we need to be extremely aware of the relevant COVID-19 regulations in place at the time and any retreat will be conducted in accordance with these. In exceptional circumstances, we might need to rearrange or postpone a retreat.

Day Retreat Saturday 10 April 2021

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After such a complex year, perhaps you feel in need of spiritual relaxation and refreshment?  Godspace is offering a day retreat in English – time away for inner reflection.

Day Retreat Saturday 10 April 2021.’The Garden’. A few hours of prayer, reflection and time to be still, from 10am to 1pm, combining prayer input and sharing on zoom, with time for you to be away from the screen.


As with any event this year, we need to be extremely aware of the relevant COVID-19 regulations in place at the time and any retreat will be conducted in accordance with these. In exceptional circumstances, we might need to rearrange or postpone a retreat.

Register by filling out this form: