Students gather together from across the Province six times a year: for a week in late August-September and five residential weekends. For these we use St Mary’s Monastery perched on Kinnoull Hill outside Perth in central Scotland. This wonderful Hogwartian building is home to a community of Redemptorists who make us most welcome every time we visit.
The autumn Orientation Week – six overnights – is a way of ‘re-forming’ the community each year; time is spent in learning, worship and student-led gatherings as people settle into new friendships and subjects. Mid way through the week the community makes a trip into Perth or the surrounding area to visit a project or social enterprise. Every year one of the seven Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church is resident with the community for part of the week.
The weekends – in October, December, January, March and May – are shorter, running from Friday evening through to Sunday lunch; these likewise weave worship, study and leisure into a coherent whole.
Accommodation is in single ensuite rooms and all meals are catered by St Mary’s. The site has a large well-equipped Conference Room and plenty of smaller break-out rooms for small group work and leisure. A light spacious Oratory becomes our worship space for the duration of the weekend, but we use St Mary’s church, a vast and very beautiful edifice, for such things as Plainsong Compline and thurible practice. The Monastery is set in beautiful gardens, a tranquil spot into which to retreat for peace and quiet.
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