The Abbey has a rich history filled with generous hospitality, deep personal & spiritual journey, awareness & preservation of the native environment.

The Abbey Program offers individuals and groups the opportunity to be involved.

The Program includes a range of creative events, retreats, workshops, conservation activities and pilgrimages.

Feel free to sign up using the button below to be notified by email of new events.

We look forward to welcoming you at The Abbey.

Weekly Eucharist

11.00am every Wednesday at The Abbey Chapel. Everyone is welcome. (Please note that 2024 services resume Wednesday February 7th.) 

Monthly Celtic Music Sessions

2nd Thursday of each month (7.00pm – 10.00pm). Come join us for an evening of music. Bring an instrument or just come and enjoy the evening. We’re in the Chapel.

For further information and bookings call 03 5156 6580 or info@theabbey.org.au

 

2024

FEBRUARY

8th Hush Quiet Day: Spiritual Insights from the Celtic Wheel. Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly 

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly

Core to the understanding of the Celtic Wheel is the ever-turning seasons.  Time is not linear, it is a spiral, forever bringing us back to the start that is completely different when we next encounter it. This insight allows for birth, death and rebirth to be part of the nature of our spiritual journey. Cath Connelly will introduce us to the metaphor of the Celtic Wheel, highlighting its relevance to being grounded in our landscape as a spiritual practice.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by January 25.

14th The Creation Windows through Literature, Art and Music: Fish, Birds & Animals

Facilitators: Sue Fordham, June Treadwell & Michael Fox

The windows of our chapel are truly beautiful. Capturing the essence of the metaphors around the six days of creation, Bruce Hutton designed and installed the six windows in early 2023. The Abbey is honoured to invite June Treadwell, Sue Fordham and Michael Fox, all artists and educators, to present a series of reflections on these windows. Passionate about the interplay between literature, music and art, June, Sue and Michael have shaped six stand-alone days to explore these images.

11.00am – 2.30pm. $20 donation.Please bring your own lunch and journal. Please RSVP February 1.

The day commences with the option of attending Eucharist in the Chapel.

 

MARCH

14th Hush Quiet Day: Spirituality from the Desert.  

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly

In the desert we become clear on what truly matters – water, food, shelter, love, community. Throughout millennia, people have sought out desert environments to focus on issues of the heart, finding there a place where the Sacred One is revealed in stark abundance. During this Hush Day we will journey into the desert, finding oases to quench our thirst along the way.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by March 1.

 

29th Good Friday: Walking the Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross or Via Crucis, commemorate Jesus’ passion and death on the cross. There are fourteen stations that each depict a moment on his journey to Calvary. It is a long-held tradition that people walk the journey of these fourteen stations, stopping at each point to reflect on the symbolism of this pathway. These stations are located around the perimeter of The Abbey. We will be traversing the Abbey, pausing at each station for prayer.

3.00pm. Meet in The Abbey carpark. Followed by afternoon tea.

 

APRIL

10th The Creation Windows through Literature, Art and Music: Humans

Facilitators: Sue Fordham, June Treadwell & Michael Fox

The windows of our chapel are truly beautiful. Capturing the essence of the metaphors around the six days of creation, Bruce Hutton designed and installed the six windows in early 2023. The Abbey is honoured to invite June Treadwell, Sue Fordham and Michael Fox, all artists and educators, to present a series of reflections on these windows. Passionate about the interplay between literature, music and art, June, Sue and Michael have shaped six stand-alone days to explore these images.

11.00am – 2.30pm. $20 donation. Please bring your own lunch and journal. Please RSVP by March 27.

The day commences with the option of attending Eucharist in the Chapel.

11th Hush Quiet Day: Spirituality from the Forest  

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly 

The spiritual interest in forests is not new. Humans have always had a close relationship with forests and have been intrigued by their magical nature. ‘Forests are deeply rooted in our imaginations and psyches – the sacred trees that formed the first ancient ritual sites; the Bodhi tree where the Buddha found enlightenment; the beautiful and threatened cedar forest in the story of Gilgamesh; the Tree of Life, the universal symbol that connects Heaven and Earth.’ (Mary Reynolds Thompson)

During this Hush day we will journey deep into the forests, both physically and metaphorically, finding inspiration in the lushness of the trees.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by March 28.

 

15th – 19th Island Pilgrimage: Walking the Land, Listening to Spirit, Reflecting Together. (Monday – Friday)

Facilitators: Dr Cath Connelly & Russell Smith 

Come away as you leave behind the everyday ‘clutter’ and make your annual Pilgrimage at The Abbey on Raymond Island. There will be times for reflection, contemplation, and moments of silence as well as time to appreciate creation – the land, the lake, the sea and sky. We will live into our growing awareness that the environment is to us friend and partner on the journey; together as one we are blessed by the God of all creation. We walk the land, yet this is not a strenuous pilgrimage. All levels of fitness are accommodated. 

Full Time residential: $660 includes three meals per day and full program.

Residential shared accommodation: includes three meals per day and full program: $475

Non residential: includes three meals per day and full program: $360. Please RSVP by April 1.

 

27th Back to Raymond Island: Come Revisit those Memories

One of the delights of living at The Abbey is hearing the stories of many people for whom Raymond Island has been such an important place. Stories come from both Gippslanders and others from further afield. A’Beckett Park (as the Abbey was previously known) has been the location for countless church and youth camps, rallies, GFS events and Cursillo weekends to name a few.

 With this in mind, the Abbey is inviting you to attend a ‘Back to Raymond Island’ day. There will be opportunities to reflect on the ongoing impact in your life of the time you spent here. There will be celebrations, a barbecue, Eucharist, fellowship and opportunities to enjoy the surrounds. Come and see the changes that have taken place here since you last visited; come tell us what it was like in your day.

Free event. Lunch provided. Hosted by The Abbey.

For all accommodation enquiries, contact Anna on 5156 6580. Please RSVP by April 13.

 

MAY

8th The Creation Windows through Literature, Art and Music: Sabbath

Facilitators: Sue Fordham, June Treadwell & Michael Fox

The windows of our chapel are truly beautiful. Capturing the essence of the metaphors around the six days of creation, Bruce Hutton designed and installed the six windows in early 2023. The Abbey is honoured to invite June Treadwell, Sue Fordham and Michael Fox, all artists and educators, to present a series of reflections on these windows. Passionate about the interplay between literature, music and art, June, Sue and Michael have shaped six stand-alone days to explore these images.

11.00am – 2.30pm. $20 donation. Please bring your own lunch and journal. Please RSVP by April 24.

The day commences with the option of attending Eucharist in the Chapel.

9th Hush Quiet Day: Spirituality from the Rivers, Lakes & Oceans.  

Facilitator: Rev. David Head

A wild sea can stimulate the spirits, bringing strength, vitality, and opportunities to allow and release anger. A calm river can untangle a busy mind, encourage rest, and soothe pain. Rain echoes the connectedness of everything in ripples of bursting energy. Today we will dwell in the metaphor of water, looking at flow, depth, interconnectedness and refreshment. On the foreshore of Lake Victoria, The Abbey is the perfect setting for this day.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by April 25.

 

10th – 11th Retreat: Men’s Spirituality Mentoring Course.  

Facilitator: Rev. Jeff Berger    

There has never been a more critical time in human history, when male role models are needed. This course and retreat will assist men to grow spiritually within themselves and will also equip them with skills to help others do the same. Jeff Berger is an ordained Anglican priest and a retired consulting psychologist, with over forty-five years’ experience in ministry, counselling, and psychological practice. There will be space for private reflection amidst the beautiful surrounding of The Abbey.

This retreat runs from 5 pm Friday to 5.00pm Saturday evening.

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $210

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $145pp

Non-Residential full retreat including all meals and program – $90

Please RSVP by April 26.

 

16th – 19th Retreat: Love is Letting Go of Fear. (Thursday – Sunday) 

Facilitator: Martin Hosking    

In these troubled and anxious times, it is hard to find personal peace. We seem to face suffering and loss both immediate and persistent. How do we let go of the fear that binds us and which, too often, can be a cause of injury to others? 

This three-day retreat will lead us into one approach, drawing on the work of Gerald G. Jampolsky who more than 30 years wrote “Love is Letting Go of Fear”. Through guided meditations, reflections and focused discussion we will contemplate how we may deepen the love that is at the heart of the great wisdom traditions. The retreat is open to people of any or no religion but will draw on the particular insights into the love of God articulated by Jesus in the Gospels. 

 Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $530

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $395pp

Non-Residential including all meals and program – $270

5pm Friday to after lunch Sunday. Please RSVP by May 2.

 

May 31st – June 2nd Weekend Retreat: Meeting the Enneagram 

Facilitator: Julia Fullarton    

This weekend retreat will introduce you to the Enneagram, a powerful way to understand your personality, moving from ways of being that constrict you, towards a healthier way of living. You will look at the core motivations of your life, the healthy messages that you have missed, and how these have informed your life till now. During this weekend, you will discover the gifts that you bring to the world and begin (or continue) a journey of honouring these gifts in your life and community. You are also likely to gain some insight into various ways that people in your life experience the world differently from the way you do and learn how to better empathise with both you and others.

Julia, a mother and grandmother, is a Gestalt therapist and spiritual director. She brings a wealth of training and experience to this weekend retreat.

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $495

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $345pp

Non-Residential full weekend including all meals and program – $230

5pm Friday to after lunch Sunday. Please RSVP by May 17.

June

12th The Creation Windows through Literature, Art and Music: Sabbath

Facilitators: Sue Fordham, June Treadwell & Michael Fox

The windows of our chapel are truly beautiful. Capturing the essence of the metaphors around the six days of creation, Bruce Hutton designed and installed the six windows in early 2023. The Abbey is honoured to invite June Treadwell, Sue Fordham and Michael Fox, all artists and educators, to present a series of reflections on these windows. Passionate about the interplay between literature, music and art, June, Sue and Michael have shaped six stand-alone days to explore these images.

11.00am – 2.30pm. $20 donation.Please bring your own lunch and journal. Please RSVP June 1st.

The day commences with the option of attending Eucharist in the Chapel.

13th Hush Quiet Day: Spirituality from the Mountains 

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly 

Mountains appear immovable. The phrase ‘make like a mountain’ summons the image of standing upright, grounded on Earth in a pose of steadfast calmness. The metaphor of mountains invites us to reflect on solidity, reaching great heights, constancy, permanence, motionlessness. A day of exploring the metaphor of the mountains.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by May 30.

 

15th Open Day for Islanders

 Have you lived here all your life and never quite known what goes on at The Abbey? Maybe you are new to the island and wondered what The Abbey is all about? We’re having an Open Day for you to have a good look around the place and see what we get up to on this beautiful corner of the Island. Everyone is welcome.

10.00am – 3.00pm. Free. Afternoon tea provided at 2.00pm.

 

24th – 28th Retreat: In the Footsteps of Meister Eckhart (Monday – Friday)

Facilitator: Revd John Stewart 

Mystic and theologian Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328) has become one of the timeless heroes of modern spirituality. Two of his better-known quotes are: ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is -Thank You- it will be enough.’ and ‘To be full of things is to be empty of God. To be empty of things is to be full of God. The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.’ John Stewart, Anglican priest and co-director of the Living Well Centre, has been enamoured by Eckhart for many years. He offers this five-day retreat so that participants may fully immerse themselves in the wisdom of Eckhart’s extraordinary insights into the Divine.

Full Time residential: $660 includes three meals per day and full program.

Residential shared accommodation: includes three meals per day and full program: $475

Non residential: includes three meals per day and full program: $360

5pm Monday to after lunch Friday. Please RSVP by June 10.

 

July

11th Hush Quiet Day: Healing 

Facilitator: Revd Heather Cahill

Heather will be delivering three talks followed by an invitation to periods for quiet contemplation.  At the conclusion of the day, we will participate in a short act of healing worship, with time for personal healing prayer.  The topics for Heather’s talks will be:

“What sort of God do you believe in?”

“Where can we find God in nature?”

“If God is real, why does God let bad things happen to good people?”

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by June 27.

 

12th Occasional Lecture Series: Ethical Dilemmas and our Contemporary Responses

Facilitator: Josephine Perry

2.00pm – 4.00pm. Donation: $15. Includes afternoon tea. Please RSVP by June 28.

 

26th – 28th Weekend Retreat: Singing the Blues – Psalms as Life Pilgrimages 

Facilitator: Dr Merryl Blair 

The Psalms take us on a journey that echoes the twists and turns of life. As we walk through their paths of praise, lament, questioning, and wonder, we find ourselves invited to move ever deeper into the moments of our own lives. We are also invited to move more deeply into community, as we bring the honesty of life’s pilgrimage into our worship together. This weekend will explore the movements and imagery of the Psalms, as an invitation to reflect on the sacred journey of our own lives. Lecturer, minister and international speaker, Dr Merryl Blair is no stranger to The Abbey. In 2023 she led our Diocesan retreat to rave reviews.

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $495

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $345pp

Non-Residential full weekend including all meals and program – $230

5pm Friday to after lunch Sunday. Please RSVP by July 11.

August

8th Hush Quiet Day: Healing

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly

Go outside / Often / Sometimes in wild places / Bring friends or not / Breathe.  (Florence Williams)

Stand on the grasslands and we stand on a landscape of vastness. Expansiveness, far horizons, openness – these are just some of the images that this day encounters. Our grasslands hold the food source for most of humanity. Healthy grasslands maintain biodiversity. When we are at home in the grasslands, we are at peace with who we are and what we might offer to life. Come and explore the metaphor of the grasslands and how it resonates for you.

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by July 25.

 

10th Our Annual Abbey Feast   

Hosted by The Abbey in conjunction with Parish of St Peters Paynesville.

Always a wonderful celebration, this is a major fundraising event for The Abbey. Three course meal including accompanying wine.

Book a table – you’re in for a delicious time. $60per person. Please RSVP by July.

 

16th – 18th Weekend Retreat: Sacred Circle Dancing 

Facilitator: Robyn Sussems

Dancing in a circle is an ancient tradition common to many cultures for marking special occasions, strengthening community and encouraging togetherness. Circle Dance includes traditional dances of many countries as well as modern choreographies set to classical and contemporary music. In Circle dance we are stepping into ancient patterns of rhythm and movement. When we dance a traditional dance, we are temporarily tuning into a culture’s history and expression. During this Retreat we will experience the joy of the dance, both physically and spiritually. There will be opportunities for reflection, meditation and time in nature in the surrounds of The Abbey. No previous dance experience is necessary and we will approach this weekend with a spirit of adventure. A very popular retreat in 2023, we look forward to welcoming Robyn back to the Abbey this year.

Comfortable footwear is essential.

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $495

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $345pp

Non-Residential full weekend including all meals and program – $230

5pm Friday to after lunch Sunday. Please RSVP by August 2.

 

24th Spiritual Direction Taster Day

Facilitators: Revd John Stewart & Dr Cath Connelly

Have you noticed that people tend to approach you for deep conversation? Do you find that you have the capacity to hear people’s stories? Would you call yourself a good listener? Maybe your life-journey has led you to explore the writings and prayer-life of the Christian mystics? These are all the makings of a spiritual director. John Stewart and Cath Connelly, co-directors of the Living Well Centre for Christian Spirituality, offer this day in which the ministry of spiritual direction will be explained and explored. If you have ever wondered whether you might be called to be a spiritual director, we invite you to come to this day.

Morning tea and lunch provided.

10.00am – 3.00pm. Donation – $40. Please RSVP by August 10.

September

13th Hush Quiet Day: Shout Out for the Psalms 

Facilitator: Michael Fox

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP August 29.

 

17th – 19th Retreat: The Spiritual Practice of Justice in Contemporary Times. (Tuesday – Thursday) 

Facilitator: Revd Ray Cleary

 Doing justice is a core element of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In all faiths it is not always practiced with authenticity often corrupted in word and deed. This retreat will give participants time to reflect other own faith journey and understanding 

as to what the prophet Micah says, “and what does the Lord require but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. “

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $495

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $345pp

Non-Residential full weekend including all meals and program – $230

10.00am Tuesday – Thursday after lunch. Please RSVP by September 3.

28th ‘Learn a Craft’ Day 

Facilitators: Suzanne Ashton, Karen Berger, Cherry, June Treadwell, Michelle D’Amelio, Cath Connelly

A chance to learn that craft which has intrigued you. Pitched at beginners and those of you who are not a complete beginners and would like some inspiration to continue. Six crafts will be offered in this one-day workshop. Select one of the following and immerse yourself in a day of learning Cross stitch (Facilitator: Suzanne), English Paper Piecing quilting (Facilitator: Karen), Applique (Facilitator: Cherry) collage (Facilitator: June), needle-felted dolls (Facilitator: Cath), Introduction to Painting (Facilitator: Michelle).

Each craft is limited to eight participants – book early so as not to miss out on your place. All craft materials provided except scissors – please bring your own scissors.

10.00am – 3.30pm. Lunch, morning tea and lunch provided. Donation $45. RSVP by September 14.

 

OCTOBER

5th Blessing of the Pets

St Francis, lover of animals, would be thrilled to think that we are hosting an afternoon to honour our animal companions. On the weekend of his Feast Day we are inviting you to bring your pets for an afternoon of animal fun, culminating in a pet blessing by Rev. Jeff Berger, the Abbey Chaplain. There will be competitions for the fluffiest, the cutest, the oldest, the wisest and the most unusual pet. Bring your rabbits, dogs, rats, goats, donkeys, cats, guinea pigs…

Please note that the sensitive environment of the Abbey requires all animals to be restrained at all times.

2.00pm – 4.00pm. Afternoon refreshments provided for humans! Cost $20 per family. Please RSVP by September 21.

 

10th Hush Quiet Day: The Story of our Lives

Facilitators: Jenny & Peter Batten

Our live are full of stories the good the bad and the ugly. These stories make up our lived experience of life. How do we make meaning from our life stories. This contemplative day is an invitation for the participants to explore one or more of their stories.

Outcomes:

  • Explore our stories through art, movement and voice.
  • Learn some story telling techniques.
  • An opportunity will be given to share a story with the group.
  •  

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by September 26.      

 

11th – 13th Weekend Retreat: In Love with Hildegard of Bingen

Facilitator: Dr Cath Connelly

Who is this woman who was poet, artist, visionary, musician, playwright, spiritual leader, healer and scientist?  Why the upsurge of interest in her nine centuries later?  What does this 12th Century mystic have to say to women and men of today?  Come and immerse yourself in all that this most amazing woman might offer us. Yes, as part of this retreat weekend, Cath will bring her harp and play for us!

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $495

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $345pp

Non-Residential full weekend including all meals and program – $230

Please RSVP by September 27.

18th – 19th Diocesan Retreat: Grace and the Holy Spirit.

Facilitator: Revd. Kate Campbell

Residential Single Accommodation including all meals and program – $210

Residential Shared Accommodation including all meals and program – $160

Non-Residential including all meals and program – $90

NOVEMBER

21st Hush Quiet DayTopic to be confirmed

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by November 1.

 

29th Ecumenical Conversation

This annual event, co-hosted by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Diocese in Gippsland, is an ideal preparation for the journey of Advent through to the blessings of Christmas and we hope you will be able to join us on this significant occasion.

The presenters for this conversation are still to be announced.

9.30am – 4.00pm. Lunch, morning & afternoon tea provided. Cost $25. RSVP by November 15.

 

DECEMBER

12th Hush Quiet Day: Topic to be Confirmed

10.00am – 3.00pm. BYO lunch. $20 donation. Please RSVP by November 28.

 

For further information and bookings call 03 5156 6580 or info@theabbey.org.au