Discovering silence in Sinai

Kathryn Turner has just returned from a journey to South Sinai with Wind Sand & Stars. She reflects on how the desert has spoken to generations and might speak to a pilgrim group in our own day:

In the depths of the winter, an advert appeared in The Tablet for an “Adventure into Silence” retreat in the Sinai desert. Looking out of the window at yet more snow and ice, I decided to investigate thinking that, if I went on it, I would at least get some sun this year. This was obviously the cue for the stunning summer weather! However, the idea of going to a place that has so inspired people for generations would not go away and so I booked the retreat. Read the full article.

You can also listen here to Kathryn’s interview with Premier North East Radio, about her experience in South Sinai and her plans to return to the desert again in 2015, offering a new desert retreat experience in the footsteps of desert wanderers from the Bible and early Christianity.

Kathryn Turner is Head of the Department for Spirituality at the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.


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A unique experience and a privilege to share the Bedouin’s way of life, for a short time.

Guest, Sinai Summits, April 2019

It was the most wonderful trip, so glad I took up this opportunity. All beautifully organised – well done.

Icons of St Catherine’s Guest November 2022

Enthralling and beyond my hopes, it was a deeply spiritual experience at many levels. I am still raving about it all to anyone who crosses my path!

Icons of St Catherine’s Guest November 2022

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

Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017

We got more out of our 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, April 2017

So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine’s; 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’s 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

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