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The power of retreat

Thomas Baldwin shares his experience of a day of solitude in Perthshire.

I’M on retreat, but I haven’t retreated very far. If you take the motorway to Perth and turn left, within five minutes you find yourself at The Bield at Blackruthven: a large house and converted farm steading, set in 30 acres of lawn and mature woodlands.

There’s a large wooden cross near the entrance, decorated with Celtic knotwork. While the Bield is open to everyone, it is an overtly Christian space.

Lovely as the surroundings are, I’m a little apprehensive. I’m here for a one-day reflective silence, which will be a completely new experience for me. I don’t mind my own company, but silence is very rare in my life (a loud Celtic punk band provided the soundtrack to the journey here).

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE OPENING THE HEART Experiences of retreat MAKING CHANGE Interview with Fiona Buchanan, Church elder and campaigner for climate and gender justice DISINVESTMENT DEBATE The case for taking Church money out of fossil fuels ..and much more