Many of us claim to know our city well, particularly the centre. We go there daily to work or study, perhaps weekly for shopping, entertainment or to meet friends. But all these activities bring a sense of purpose and we are in the city for a reason, possibly preoccupied, even oblivious of what is going on around us. We probably have the resources which enable us to make choices of where to go or what to do, and the sense of identity which goes with being there.
Joining a ‘Retreat on the Streets’ for a few hours will bring a different perspective, as we leave all the usual possessions behind. Without any resources or choices, our only purpose will be to immerse ourselves in the life of the city – its people, places, atmosphere and happenings. It is not playing at being poor, but an opportunity to glimpse the reality of simply being in the city as experienced by some people every day. It will enable us to seek God in our city, perhaps in the most unexpected places, situations or encounters – and we may never see Leeds in the same way again!