Q: Covid-19: How will I be kept safe if I visit the Monastery?
At each stage of our reopening (see below) we will take every care to keep you safe when you visit the Monastery. As well as putting in place all the relevant protocols from both civil and ecclesiastical authorities, mitigating the risk from Covid-19 will also depend on everyone taking personal responsibility for adhering to them.
Stage 1 Reopening: Visiting St Mary's for Sunday Mass from 19th July 2020 onwards
All current guidelines we have received from both civil and ecclesiastical authorities are being followed. These include but are not limited to: limiting numbers and adhering to social distancing; a maximum capacity in the church and the imperative of booking in advance; the wearing of face-coverings; hand-sanitisation; signage; trained stewards to assist with seating. We regret that those who do not book may be turned away if our maximum distanced capacity has been reached, so please click here for further details on how to book a place at Sunday Mass in order to avoid disappointment.
Stage 2 Reopening: Visiting St Mary's for an individual personal retreat (day or residential) beginning from 1st September 2020 onwards
In the first instance, we have reduced the capacity of the house to reflect the need to social distance. Again, all health guidelines in place at the time of your individual visit (including signage, sanitisation, distancing etc.) will be followed and communicated to you clearly and in a timely manner. You should expect to bring your own face-coverings in sufficient numbers for the duration of your stay.
Stage 3 Reopening: Visiting St Mary's as part of a group (day or residential) beginning from 1st October 2020 onwards
Again, the need to social distance will be reflected in the reduced maximum capacity of the house, which is likely to be no more than 20. Groups will only be accepted based on the number of people already booked to stay in the house at that time they wish to visit. Again, all health guidelines in place at the time of your visit (including signage, sanitisation, distancing etc.) will be followed and communicated to you clearly and in a timely manner. You should expect to bring your own face-coverings in sufficient numbers for the duration of your stay.
Q: Where is St. Mary's?
St Mary’s is situated in Perth, the ancient capital of Scotland and where John Knox preached his famous sermons which began the Reformation in Scotland.
Q: How do you get there?
Perth is served by a very good road network linking it to the A1 and the M74 which are the principal routes from the South (please be aware some Satnavs will not find us using the address and/or postcode, it is better to use the the GPS co-ordinates for St. Mary’s, 56.3947° N, 3.4098° W)(for road and map directions click here).
There is an excellent coach service linking it with all the main cities and towns, with a daily direct service to London.
It is also a mainline station on the railway network with almost hourly services via Edinburgh and Glasgow and a daily direct service to London Kings Cross.
Both Edinburgh and Glasgow International Airports are accessible. At Edinburgh Airport take a tram, two stops (10 minutes) to Edinburgh Gateway railway station from where there are frequent trains to Perth.
Q: What are the facilities and accommodation like?
Here at St Mary’s we like to strike a balance between simplicity of lifestyle and quality of service with comfortable surroundings. There are 28 single rooms with en suite bathrooms, 2 twin rooms with special needs facilities and 4 rooms with shared bathrooms. All rooms are accessible by lift or stairs and have coffee/teamaking facilities and complimentary toiletries on arrival, with free Wi-Fi available.
Q: Are there any exercise facilities?
We do not have an on-site exercise area but there are plenty of country walks around Kinnoull Hill and beyond. There is also the local Leisure Centre in the city with a swimming pool and gym facilities
Q: Are there medical facilities available?
We are very close to the city centre and have good relations with the local medical centres. Emergency treatment is also available at the Perth Royal Infirmary. Non-UK and European Union citizens should ensure that they have adequate medical insurance cover for the duration of their stay.
Q: Do you accept Credit Cards?
We are now able to accept payment through PayPal and credit/debit cards. The preferred method of payment is by bank transfer but we do accept cheques, which should be made payable to: St Mary’s Kinnoull.
Q: How close is St. Mary's to the City?
St Mary’s is about one mile from City centre. Going down to the centre is about a 15-minute walk. During the day, there is an hourly bus service and a taxi ride costs about £5.00.
Q: What should I bring with me?
Current Covid-19 health guidlines mean all visitors must bring sufficient face-coverings/ masks with them for their personal use for the duration of their stay. Although hand sanitisers will be available throughout the Monastery, it would also be advisable to bring your own pocket-sized supply.
Apart from your other personal belongings and needs, bedding and towels are supplied. In line with our sustainability commitment, please bring all your own toiletries with you, as we no longer supply single-use plastic shampoos etc. Ironing facilities are available, along with hair dryers. Kinnoull has miles of beautiful and spectacular hill and woodland walks so a good pair of walking boots or shoes would be an advantage. Weather can be inclement so expect rain at some point. If you are coming from outside UK or Ireland it would be important to remember an adapter for your electronic equipment.
Q: At what time should I arrive?
All courses and retreats start with the evening meal, at 7pm, on the date given so aim to arrive late afternoon. We are only able to receive participants in Kinnoull on the day the course or retreat begins and participants are expected to depart after breakfast on the day the course ends uless otherwise stated.
Q: What about dietary needs?
Our chefs are very good and helpful and have never yet been found wanting. So, whatever your needs, given fair warning, we can cope.
Q: Is there any free time during the Sabbatical courses?
Yes, apart from the afternoons, the weekends are also free and some participants take the opportunity to see other parts of the country over the weekends.
Q: Does one have to attend the whole Sabbatical course?
No, it is possible to book for particular week(s) but please be aware that weekly participation is from Monday morning to Thursday lunchtime only.
Q: Are the courses and retreats only for Roman Catholics?
As a Centre which is ecumenical both in orientation and commitment, all are welcome.