Back in May 2000, the Rev’d Graham Booth spent 10 days of silent prayer and retreat with Mother Mary Agnes and the SOLI Community on the island of Fetlar. Little did he know that in April 2016 he and his wife Ruth would move to The Glebe, formerly the West Manse, just up from the Kirk, Tresta Sands and Papil Water. Eighteen months on they are still in the midst of the restoration and renewal of the house and gardens and of the vision to create a quiet house of prayer and retreat. In spite of not being ‘ready for business’ we have enjoyed a steady stream of visitors during the summer months—now it is back to work with the help of our builders, finishing off electrics, plumbing, plasterboard, woodwork and painting.
Having visited Shetland a number of times over the years, and perhaps influenced by the years in which Graham’s mother organised two regular prayer groups for the Scottish islands, they felt drawn to come north ourselves… drawn to the spacious peace, the wild beauty and to an ever deepening call to prayer.
Their first priority on arriving was to establish a dedicated prayer space, a small chapel, in the top of the west wing of the house. Graham and Ruth are members of the international, ecumenical, Community of Aidan and Hilda. As such they are committed to living by a ‘Way of Life’ and a ‘Rhythm of Prayer’. Over the last 18 months they have developed their own prayer book based on the Community’s prayer resources, Anglican Daily Prayer and other Celtic inspired sources. They use four orders of prayer for each day of the week; morning, mid-day, evening and night prayer— each day having a different theme. Sunday/Resurrection, Monday/ Creation, Tuesday/the Incarnation, Wednesday/the Holy Spirit, Thursday/the Trinity, Friday/ Christ and the Cross, Saturday/the Kingdom of God. This resource gives focus, variety and refreshment.
In addition they use the book Operation World to help them pray systematically in the middle of the day for all the nations of the world, as well as for those places in crisis at a particular time. In the evening other resources are used to help them pray for our own Community, SOLI, life and ministry in Shetland and particularly the people of the Northern Isles.
Graham and Ruth see their home as a gift from God, not only to them, but also through them to others. They hope that it will be a place of sanctuary for people and for nature and are trying to create safe, sacred space for any who want to come and share the stillness, peace and beauty of this wild place.
They are in the middle of a planting scheme to significantly increase the number of native trees and shrubs, and creating a pond, so enlarging and enriching the habitat.
There is an extensive library for those who wish to read or study and three en-suite bedrooms for guests who wish to stay. Day visitors are welcome as are those in need of a more extensive time of rest and renewal or sabbatical.
Please contact Graham & Ruth Booth if you are interested to know more or to plan a visit sometime.
- Home telephone: 01957 733380
- Mobile telephone: 07392 751356
- Email: g[email protected]