Alive to The Splendour

A Weekend with Thomas Merton
Friday 22– Sunday 24 June
with Stephen Dunhill, John McLuckie and Anne Tomlinson 


A weekend with Thomas Merton offers the opportunity to explore his life, work and witness. Born 1915 in France to artist parents, his education migrated through Britain and eventually to Columbia University in the US. His path led him to become a Trappist monk, living in an enclosed contemplative community, but from where the urge to communicate through his writing, which had begun before he entered Gethsemani, was accepted and enabled. There followed encounters through writings and meetings and conversations; this weekend will explore Merton’s poetry, teachings on prayer and contemplation, his journals, photography and his approach to the natural world, his connections with other religions and his awareness of issues of peace and justice in the world. Interspersed will be time for reflection and quiet, relaxing together and enjoying the grounds and the more of the island.

This retreat begins with lunch at 12.30pm on Friday 22nd. If you wish to arrive the night before please contact us to arrange B&B (£40 per person).

Stephen Dunhill is a retired teacher living in Northumbria and has had a life-long interest in Thomas Merton ever since his father, an Anglican priest, gave him a copy of The Seven Storey Mountain when he was 27, with the words, ‘I think it is about time that you read this’. He has served on the committee of the Thomas Merton Society

John McLuckie was born on the West coast of Scotland and grew up in Aberdeenshire. He was ordained in the Episcopal church in 1991 and has served in parishes in Perth, Glasgow and Edinburgh.  He has also worked as chaplain of King’s College in Cambridge and, most recently, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. His interests include choral, jazz and folk music, the visual arts and modern fiction.  He writes occasional journal articles on spirituality and is currently researching the spiritual writings of Thomas Merton and William Johnston.

Anne Tomlinson is the Principal of the Scottish Episcopal Institute. Following degrees in prehistoric archaeology, Dr Anne Tomlinson did her formational training through St John’s College, Nottingham and subsequently studied Practical Theology at New College, University of Edinburgh. She worked in the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church (TISEC) for nine years variously as Tutor, Director of Pastoral Studies and Co-ordinator of the South-East Region before becoming the Church’s Provincial Officer for Local Collaborative Ministry and Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Edinburgh. For five years she was the Ministry Development Officer of the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, and is now the Principal of the Scottish Episcopal Institute, responsible for training students for lay and ordained ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Anne is a vocational Deacon.

There is a fixed price for events on our Open Programme and accommodation is available on a first come first served basis. The College has 4 single rooms with shared bathroom facilities, 4 twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities, 2 double rooms with shared bathroom facilities, 1 family room (double & single) with shared bathroom facilities, 2 en-suite twin rooms, 2 en-suite double rooms and 1 en-suite family room (1 double & 2 singles). Please select the type of accommodation that best meets your needs. Double or twin rooms may be used for single occupancy where needed.

This retreat is offered both residential and non-residential

£155 full board. This includes a deposit of £50 which must be made to secure your booking.
The retreat is available on a non-residential basis for just £35 including lunch. Dinner is available at a cost of £19 per day.

Friends’ Bursary Scheme
We do not want cost to prevent anyone from attending an event at The College of The Holy Spirit. Please see here for details of a bursary scheme run by the Friends of the Cathedral of The Isles.

Book a Retreat

To book a place on any of our open retreats please complete the details below. Once received we will confirm your booking with you and send an invoice for payment of your deposit.
  • Please select the retreat that you wish to attend from this list
  • Please indicate your preference of accommodation. Note that En-suite facilities are limited and may not always be available.
  • WHEN YOU HAVE SUBMITTED THE FORM YOU WILL RETURN TO THIS PAGE. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO ENSURE YOU RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION MESSAGE AND NOT A NOTICE OF ANY ERRORS. THANK YOU. Please indicate any special needs, including medical dietary requirements here. If you wish to share a room please note details here also.