Sounding the Silence

Exploring depths in stillness and speech

The Retreat Association’s annual ecumenical conference this year will focus on the theme of silence – both in the context of retreat and in the unspoken areas of our lives. Contributors include Sara Maitland, whose Adventure into Silence has become a highly sought after Wind Sand & Stars journey, offering an experience of the unique and powerful silence found in the desert and drawing upon her highly acclaimed A Book of Silence.

The conference takes place 18 – 21 June 2018 at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire.

It offers an opportunity to be inspired through talks, workshops, worship, discussion, resources and conversation, all exploring what it means to be part of a reflective community, through silence and contemplation. Follow this link for further details:



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“The whole trip was AMAZING – thank you so much.”

Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017

“We got more out of our little adventure than we had ever hoped for, thanks to a country of huge diversity and historical interest and to a very special guide.”

Cunningham family, Jordan tailor made, April 2017

“So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine; the fantastic warmth of welcome from the Egyptians, Fathers Justin and Nilus, and the unique history which we felt privileged to be given access to. In my book, how could one not enjoy and be inspired!”

Julia Palmer, St Catherine Retreat, February 2017

“Huge thanks to all at Wind, Sand & Stars for an amazing trip. John’s passion for Ethiopia fires his erudition and he gave us more insights into the country, past and present, than we could ever have gained from local guides.”

Christine Dunmow, Exploring Ethiopia’s Orthodox History with John Binns 2016

“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich.”

Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014

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