Diocese of Europe announce a Retreat at Lake Como 11 - 16 October 2020

“Journeying with God”

A Guided Holiday Retreat on Lake Como, Italy

led by Bishop Michael Colclough

at the Church of the Ascension, Cadenabbia

11 - 16thOctober, 2020

The Diocese of Europe have announced a guided holiday retreat to be held in the beautiful location of Cadenabbia on the shores of Lake Como.

Church of the Ascension

This lakeside church serves a large community of summer visitors and a small community of full-time residents and holiday home-owners. Although part of the Church of England, those who attend are from all over the world and the priest, the Revd. Roger Williams, is from Australia.

Why are we hosting a retreat?

Lake Como is a beautiful setting and we wanted to share with visitors some of its hidden gems, which have inspired pilgrimage and reflection for centuries. Our recent 125thanniversary prompted us to look to the future and the need to both fundraise to conserve our beautiful building and to build our community. We ran our first retreat in 2018 and welcomed some 30 guests from all over the world for a wonderful week. We hope the 2020 retreat will provide visitors and church members alike another chance to be still and reflect about our lives in these very special surroundings.

Theme and Retreat leader: Bishop Michael Colclough

“Journeying with God”, recalls the 6th century Irish monk St. Brendan’s plea, “Help me to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown”.

Michael was ordained in 1971 to serve in his home city of Stoke-on-Trent. In 1975 he moved to London where he served in a variety of parishes as Curate, Vicar and Team Rector. He was appointed Archdeacon in 1992 and Bishop of Kensington in 1996; in 2008 he was invited to become Canon Pastor of St Paul’s Cathedral. His ministry has always emphasized the importance of pastoral care and spiritual direction: accompanying people on their walk with God.

This widened into conducting retreats and leading pilgrimages. On retirement he was appointed an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Dioceses of London and Europe and Bishop in Residence at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge. He is Chaplain to the Worshipful Company of Mercers in the City of London. His wife Cynthia will join the retreat.


A number of rooms with half-board, have been reserved at the lakeside 4-star Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. If you have local friends or wish to make your own arrangements, you may join as a day visitor. The last two nights will be spent at Piona Abbey, a 12th-century Cistercian Monastery with its own guest house (simple rooms but with en-suite facilities) in a tranquil and panoramic setting.

(www.grandhotelcadenabbia.it/ www.abbaziadipiona.it/). Lunches are also included.

Draft Programme (minor alterations may occur)

There will be daily morning prayer or communion (usually in church) and nighttime prayers at the hotel. There will be optional daily yoga early every evening, with qualified yoga teacher and community member, Mina Weight. Further details of this can be provided.

Day 1 (Sunday):

Welcome tea at Church of the Ascension (4-5pm) followed by opening worship and first address. Welcome drinks and dinner at Grand Hotel Cadenabbia.

Day 2 (Monday):

Morning worship and second address at church followed by 1st session. After lunch, a free afternoon (a chance to visit Bellagio or Villa Carlotta). Community members will lead a local walk up to the chapel of San Martino. Evening prayers after dinner at Grand Hotel Cadenabbia.

Day 3 (Tuesday):

Travel by bus or boat to Lenno , with a chance to visit Villa Balbienello or the weekly market before walking/driving up to Roveglio (home of a parishioner) for home communion, lunch and 2ndsession. Return to Cadenabbia (optional walk to nearby Madonna del Soccorso pilgrimage site with later return). Optional Christian meditation in church. Evening prayers after dinner at the hotel.

Day 4 (Wednesday):

Checkout of accommodation. Morning prayer in church followed by leisure (chance to visit historic Villa Carlotta) before midday ferry to Piona Abbey (a picnic lunch will be provided for the boat). After time to settle in and explore, worship and 3rd session in the retreat centre. Vespers with monks (Italian). Dinner followed by evening prayer.

Day 5 (Thursday):

Morning worship and 4th session. Free afternoon. Activities to be confirmed.

Day 6 (Friday): Departure

Breakfast followed by closing session and eucharist before light lunch. Either direct travel to the airport, to Milan or back to Cadenabbia by boat, depending on individual travel arrangements.

Cost - The retreat can be booked:

a) As a complete package including accommodation (dinner, bed and breakfast at Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, with two nights at Piona) as well as excursions, simple lunches and sessions/materials, or

b) As a day visitor (excursions, lunches and sessions/materials as well as the 2-day stay at Piona abbey with meals there) for those who live or have friends on the lake.

Please note: Surcharge for single occupancy will be 135 euros. Lake view at GHC is 90 euros/room

Complete package: 895 Euros/£805 (Deposit 250 euros/£225)

Day Visitor: 450 Euros/£405 (Deposit 150 Euros/£135)

How to book

  1. E-mail Jeannie Willan (jeanniewillan@gmail.com) stating how many places you are booking, whether you want shared accommodation or single occupancy at Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, or whether you are registering as a day visitor. If the latter please state where you will be staying. She will provide further instructions about how to transfer the payment of deposits, together with a registration form.

  2. A booking confirmation will be sent. Full payment of the balance is due by July 31st, 2020.

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