Planning a retreat
Planning a retreat or quiet day? Where to go in the Diocese of Worcester
Former Spiritual Direction Network co-ordinator Bob Hale lists some of the best venues for your church's retreat or quiet day in Worcester and beyond.
Unfortunately Bob Hale has died and any queries on the information below should be directed to the Secretary of the Spiritual Directors Network, Paul Harrison: 01562 700144.
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31
All of us need to give ourselves space and time to re-think our attitude to God, to events, ourselves and others; to evaluate our response to God, to events, to the people in our lives; time to reflect on the experiences of life.
A Quiet Day or retreat can provide the opportunity for this essential reflection. Some ideas of locations and organisations that can provide the space for individual and group retreats follows. Recommendations for guest speakers for Parish Quiet Days can be sourced through the Diocesan office - contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holland House is a retreat centre and conference centre owned by the Diocese of Worcester set in three acres of beautiful gardens sloping down to the River Avon.
They publish an annual programme of retreat days and residential retreats as well as offering hospitality and their facilities to guests making their own retreat. They have 18 single rooms, 6 twins, 3 meeting rooms a library, chapel and shop.
Tel: 01386 860330
The Francisacan monastery at Glasshampton provides a comfortable place to stay on retreat, or a few days ‘away from it all', somewhere to work, study, pray and to spend time with God.
They are open to residential guests (individuals and groups) between Tuesday afternoon and Monday morning; there are five guest rooms for men and women staying at the monastery. Guests join the brothers at meals in the refectory where meals are taken in silence. Glasshampton has a small sitting room, which can also be used by visiting groups (up to 12 people), a well stocked library, and a small shop.
Guests are welcome to walk in the gardens and beyond the monastery, following one of the many footpaths in the area. The area is one of great natural beauty, surrounded by woods and fields.
The Society of Saint Francis
Tel: 01299 896 345
Mucknall Abbey is a contemplative monastic community of nuns and monks living under the Rule of St Benedictand part of the Church of England. They can accommodate individual retreatants who are willing to help create and sustain an atmosphere of quiet and prayerful recollection.
Retreats can be taken of between 2-6 nights, Monday afternoon - Sunday afternoon (that is, no retreatants over Sunday night). They have one day-room set aside for the use of guests on an individual quiet day (i.e. from 10 am - 6 pm with the option of joining the community for the Eucharist, Daily Offices and lunch).
Mucknell Farm Lane
House of the Open Door
Just over the border into the Diocese of Gloucester is the 'House of the Open Door' Retreat Centre.
They are on the edge of the village of Childswickham, two miles from Broadway in the Vale of Evesham.
The Retreat House Childswickham House), together with the Tithe Barn, Pottery Studio and other buildings encircle a peaceful courtyard, leading into two acres of gardens and 60 acres of their own farmland.
The residential community welcomes church groups and organisations from different Christian traditions. They also offer individuals the space for time out in a quiet corner, and families the opportunity to relax together. Day or overnight visits can be arranged for midweek or weekends.
Groups are given the use of their own meeting room during their stay, with all meals served in the dining room.
The House of the Open Door Community
Tel: 01386 852084 (Please Note: calls may not be answered on Mondays, as this is their day of rest)
CARM - Creative Arts Retreat Movement
CARM retreats are designed to combine experience of a creative art with opportunities to deepen your spiritual life. Each retreat tends to focus on one, or occasionally two, of the following creative arts: calligraphy, creative writing, fabric arts (embroidery, quilting, art of domestic sewing), music for worship, painting, paper sculpture, photography or poetry.
Times are set aside for prayer and personal reflection. Non-members as well as members are welcome. The annual membership fee is £15.
The Quiet Garden Movement
The Quiet Garden Movement encourages the provision of a variety of local venues where there is an opportunity to set aside time to rest and to pray.
Tel: 01494 569057
As well as the garden at Holland House, mentioned earlier, some other local gardens include:
The Quiet Garden, Yew Tree House, Painswick 01452 813177
Elaines Orchard, Bromyard 01886 853311
Alcester Quiet Garden, Alcester 01789 763068
Samburu Quiet Garden, Walsall 01922 623828
Selvas Cottage Quiet Garden, Alvechurch 0121 445 1624
The Peace Garden at St Saviour's, Hagley 01562 730248
The Quiet Garden at Arley, Bewdley 01299 861354
Still Waters, Teme Valley South, St Mary's Church, Kyre 01885 410431
10 College Yard, Worcester 01905 729858