Finding comfort and joy in a strange land: Online Advent retreat by Bristol Diocese and Bristol Cathedral

First published 24th November 2020

The Diocese of Bristol and Bristol Cathedral are running an online Advent retreat on Saturday, 28 November 2020, starting at 10am. The theme is “I look from afar: Where and how do we find comfort and joy in a strange land?”

Revd Minty Hull, Cathedral Chaplain for Spirituality and Minor Canon, said that “for most of this year we have all been living in the midst of circumstances over which we have had no control and without a definite end in sight, this has, for most of us, been a dislocating experience that has felt like being in a strange land". This year's Advent and Christmas theme is 'Comfort and Joy'. So, on the eve of Advent, in this event which is open to all, we explore and reflect on where and how we can find comfort and joy during these unprecedented times.

Clergy will reflect on seven different readings, which are sourced mainly from the Advent Patterns of Readings in Common Worship, particularly the 'vigil for prisoners and those who sit in darkness'. 

You can find further information on how to join the Retreat on the Bristol Cathedral website, click here to find out more.

The schedule is included below.

I look from afar …

Bristol Diocese and Cathedral Advent Retreat Day 28th November 2020

Theme: Where and how do we find comfort and joy in a strange land?


10.00am          Welcome and brief explanation of how the day will work The Very Revd Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol

10.05am          Introduction with brief liturgy: The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol

10.15am          Reflection 1:   The Revd Catherine Williams, Spiritual Director, Retreat Leader and Writer

                        Reading: Psalm 137:1-4                     How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

11.00am          Reflection 2:   The Revd Adam Beaumont, Rector, Gauzebrook Group of Churches

           Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7                        I have called you by name, you are mine

11.45am          Reflection 3    The Revd Laura Verrall-Kelly, Curate, St Martin Knowle

           Reading: Psalm 107:1-3, 10-16         His steadfast love endures for ever … He brought them out of darkness and gloom

(12.30pm         Cathedral Eucharist)

1.00pm            Reflection 4    Revd Pete Atkinson, Minor Canon for Young People, Salisbury Cathedral

           Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3, 11                  The spirit of the Lord is upon me.. he has sent me to proclaim good news … to bring comfort … and the oil of gladness 

1.45pm            Reflection 5    The Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo, Vicar of All Saints and St Barnabas, Swindon, and Bishop’s Advisor on Racial Justice

                        Reading: Isaiah 42:5-9                        I have taken you by the hand and kept you

2.30pm            Reflection 6    The Revd Mark Nam, Curate, United Church and St Anne’s Longwell Green

           Reading: Micah 4:1-5             No one shall make them afraid

3.15pm            Reflection 7    The Very Revd Dr Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol

Reading: Philippians 4:4-9      The Lord is near 

(3.30pm           Cathedral Evening Prayer)    

4.00pm            Closing session and liturgy: The Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol



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