A Guesthouse Retreat
Travellers come to All Hallows from near and far, for any and every reason. We offer simple but comfortable accommodation to anyone staying with us. As a retreat house, we are a space of intentional quiet and peace, despite our location in the centre of Norwich.
What we mean by 'retreat'
What do we mean when we refer to All Hallows as a 'guesthouse retreat'? The word 'retreat' has many meanings depending on context, and everyone will have their own interpretation of it. As a small family-run guesthouse, All Hallows does not offer guided retreats, but in our role as part of the Julian Shrine there are up to five daily services at All Hallows or at St Julian's next door which guests are welcome to be a part of, if so inclined. This daily rhythm, including morning and evening prayer and sometimes compline, provides a good foundation for anyone looking for a contemplative retreat away from the busyness of ordinary life. Our common areas are homely and inviting, providing a space for quiet conversation with others, or time to think or read either inside or outside in the garden. The green space that surrounds All Hallows provides constant birdsong and we work hard to give nature in all its forms space to live and thrive. If you are looking for solitude, there is always a place to find it, and despite the rhythm of our own work and prayer, there is a sense of peace that envelops our home which guests feel almost instantly on arrival.
Do I need to be religious to come to All Hallows?
Certainly not! Though our own lives are shaped and rooted in the rhythms of Christian monastic tradition, guests of every belief and none are welcome at All Hallows. There are services daily at the Julian Shrine, and we also say compline in our house chapel, but there is no expectation that any guest will attend all or any of them during their stay. The retreat we offer is appropriate for and available to anyone, whatever your background; the need for silence, peace and escape from the negative aspects of modern life can be appreciated by all people and our goal is to create an oasis of calm that meets the needs of anyone looking for peace and quiet.
Do I have to be silent to come to All Hallows?
As part of curating an atmosphere of peace we talk a lot about the quiet you find at All Hallows. But that doesn't mean our guests aren't allowed to talk, or that we don't do any talking ourselves! We do of course ask guests to keep noise to a minimum between 10pm and 8am to allow everyone to get a good night's rest (one of the most important aspects of any good retreat!), but our emphasis on the quiet we offer is a spiritual reference as much as an audible one. We encourage conversations between guests, and are often found in the sitting room or the garden of an evening, drinking tea or wine and sharing stories with our guests. Having a sympathetic, listening ear to share things with can be deeply restorative and takes an essential place in some retreats. Finally, we also emphasise quiet to reassure our guests that this is something we as hosts understand and appreciate and that if you are looking to get away and find solace we are here to support and enable that process.