top of page

The Retreat Association Icon

The Retreat Association Icon is an enduring reminder of the value of retreats and reflective prayer.

Our icon depicts the well-known story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan Woman at the Well (John 4:1–42).

Icons have been used for centuries to offer a way of engaging with a bible story through prayer, stillness and contemplation – practices that lie at the heart of our work.

The icon was generously created for the Retreat Association by Iconographer John Coleman, also known as Ikonjohn, who has produced icons for over 200 churches worldwide including York Minster, Exeter &Truro Cathedrals and Sherborne Abbey.

The icon was hallowed at The Retreat Association Conference in 2018 and has already been displayed at over 25 retreat centres, and 9 churches and cathedrals across the UK.



John Coleman, Ikonjohn 1939–2021 

John first started icon painting when he was a guest at Hilfield Friary in Dorset. He learnt all the traditional methods of iconography such as using ground minerals and gold leaf.  John spoke about how prayer is central to the process of creating an icon and he often worked in church or cathedral settings. He gave workshops on icon writing including at the Retreat Association conference of 2018 where the icon was also hallowed.


Ikonjohn gave his thoughts on the Retreat Association icon saying, ‘I hope this icon will touch all who encounter it'.


The Association and the ministry of retreats is indebted to John for this gift and the legacy that he leaves through his iconography which will undoubtedly touch many lives. 


Icon Events

The Retreat Association Icon is regularly on display in a number of retreat centres, churches and cathedrals.

The icon story through pictures

Contemplative Video

A contemplative video depicting the icon with narration and music has been created by   

Magdalen Lawler SND and Tom McGuinness SJ.

Icon resources

Wood mounted icons, cards and other icon related goods are available from our online shop.

bottom of page