Our annual Shrine Mont parish weekend every April is a great chance to take a break from your busy life, relax and get to know other members of our Saint George's community.
“Shrine Mont runs at a pace that is slower than Washington. Your food is taken care of, your room is taken care of, and all you have to do is practice drawing closer to your family, your friends, and to God.”
Spend a Weekend at Shrine mont
What is Saint George’s Parish Retreat Weekend Program at Shrine Mont?
Over the years Saint George’s has moved from a highly structured program of activities throughout the Shrine Mont weekend to a more relaxed mixture of meal and social gatherings, spiritual discussions, outdoor activities and free time. The weekend will have something for everyone, and everything is optional allowing you to participate in activities that will give you the greatest enjoyment of the weekend.
Who should come to Shrine Mont?
Shrine Mont is a special place for all people, individuals and families. It is a restful place apart from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Once you arrive, everything is taken care of, and you can do as much or as little as you desire. There will be informal activities for all ages organized for Friday night, after dinner, and Saturday morning. After lunch Saturday, various leisure activities are available, from hikes and hayrides, to reading and napping, to conversations with others. Saturday evening activities bring everyone together, starting with our traditional “porching” (social/cocktail hour), musical jam session and concluding with an evening compline prayer service. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at the outdoor cathedral, a natural setting where God’s presence can easily be felt.
Everyone who experiences Shrine Mont acquires lasting memories that invite all back again and again. Attending the Parish Weekend at Shrine Mont helps both new parishioners and longtime members connect and reconnect, forming relationships that last.
A brief history of Shrine Mont
Shrine Mont is a conference center of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and includes more than 1,400 acres of land and buildings at the foot of the Great North Mountain in northwestern Shenandoah County (on the border with West Virginia). Shrine Mont is part of the village of Orkney Springs and was originally established as a resort in the 1830s. The baths at Orkney Springs were supplied from the Bear Wallow Spring opposite the main hotel. In addition, there are seven other mineral springs on the property: the Sulphur, Healing, Arsenic, Iron-Sulphur, Chalybeate, Alum, and Freestone. These waters used to be considered cures for diseases including mental and physical exhaustion and rheumatic or gouty afflictions.
Most of the buildings in the Orkney Springs resort are wooden framed and sided structures, painted white with dark green shutters. It is an idyllic setting. The Maryland House was constructed about 1850 and is the oldest standing building at the spa. The main structure, the Virginia House, is a large three-story building with porches around three of its sides, a large ballroom, a large dining hall, offices, and a gift shop.
During the resort’s heyday, it had sleeping accommodations for more than 750 people within its Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania Houses and seven cottages. The Virginia and Pennsylvania Houses are connected by walkways from the porches. The original bath house no longer remains, but many of the other historic structures are still used.
The resort continued to operate until the 1950s. In 1920, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia acquired land beside the resort to use as a retreat center. Their property was called Shrine Mont. Although the Diocese purchased the 950-acre Orkney Springs resort in 1979, Shrine Mont is only funded by the people who come and enjoy what it has to offer.