Religious Retreats in England

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In a world of increasing demands, where we are spread thin making time for work, family, friends and faith, it is critical to devote time for self-care and provide ourselves with a chance to truly be present in our faith. Religious retreats offer the perfect opportunity to escape the daily grind, connect with nature and God, and simply be at peace with mind, body and soul. The UK offers a plethora of options for faith-based retreats – whether it’s a weekend escape or a full week of unplugging from the stresses of daily life.

Retreats in several regions, including greater London, allow travelers a chance to reflect in new surroundings while seeking peace and tranquility. Check out the following locations to see what might be a good fit for your group:

North EastShep Dene

Shepherds Dene Retreat House

Corbridge

When the original owners of Shepherds Dene passed the family home on to the Diocese of Newcastle in 1945, it was their wish that “those who come to Shepherds Dene for knowledge will find it and those who come for rest will go away refreshed.” With a staff dedicated to providing customized service and an exceptional guest experience, visitors are sure to find what they are looking for. A walk through the 20 acre site’s beautiful gardens or a quiet evening of prayer in one of the cozy rooms of the main house after a locally-sourced meal is the perfect recipe for rejuvenation. The center has a variety of breakout rooms to choose from for group study, and many visitors enjoy spending time outdoors and taking in the fresh country air or hiking down to the tranquil stream.  (http://shepherdsdene.co.uk)

North West

Cloverley Hall Christian Conference Centre

Whitchurch

Groups return to Cloverley Hall year after year, and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous center, in operation as a religious retreat for 50 years, is the perfect blend of peace and community. Comfortable guest rooms of varying sizes can accommodate up to 140 residents, and there are plenty of spaces throughout the center for group or individual study and reflection. Whether it’s a Bible study in the 150-seat conference center or quiet meditation on the outdoor green, Cloverley Hall is ready to meet the desires of its visitors. Outdoor activities include petanque, volleyball, tennis and barbecues. (https://cloverleyhall.org)

Yorkshire and the Humber

Westwood Christian Centre

Huddersfield

Rolling hills dotted with quaint cottages, green as far as the eye can see, and sweeping cloudscapes are the first things visitors will see when they arrive at Westwood Christian Centre. Thus begins a visit primed for serenity, at a center run by two families who have created an ideal blend of community, creativity, spirituality and sustainability. All faiths are welcomed and celebrated at Westwood, and visitors have the opportunity to share with and learn from one another as they enhance their personal connection with God. There is also an opportunity to explore a more creative side through singing and dancing.(https://westwood-centre.org.uk)

South West

Lee Abbey

Lynton

lee abbey

Perched on a hill high above the blue waters of the Bristol Channel, Lee Abbey is the ideal place to disconnect and create a closer connection to God. There is no cellular signal at the abbey, so groups are treated to a tranquil space that offers a chance to explore faith at a deeper level and for individuals to engage in quiet reflection that is sure to heal the soul. The surrounding natural beauty provides dramatic juxtaposition – peaceful streams and powerful waves, lush farmland and rugged forests. It’s the perfect place to unwind and appreciate what is all around. The abbey lets groups take part in specialized programs, or simply create their own unique experience at a site where relationships are celebrated and God is all around. (https://leeabbey.org.uk)

East

Quiet Waters

Bungay

quiet waters

Visitors from far and wide have been coming to Quiet Waters for nearly half a century, and it continues to be a place of spiritual renewal and rest. Set on two acres around a charming farmhouse, it offers plenty of opportunities for groups to create their own devotional journeys. The charming rooms offer accommodation for up to 16. Spend time in prayer in the chapel, engage in Bible study by the home’s wood fireplace and enjoy the presence of friends over delicious meals in the dining rooms. (https://www.quietwaters.org.uk)

Greater London

The Kairos Centre

Roehampton

You don’t always have to leave the city to find peace. The Kairos Centre, just southwest of London, is a perfect example of tranquility existing among the hustle and bustle of city life. Set among acres of gorgeous gardens and overlooking famous Richmond Park, the Kairos Centre provides guests a secluded space to pray and refresh both mind and body. For those looking for guided programs, the center offers a variety of organized retreats and quiet days, but is also available for those who wish to travel alone or as part of a group and engage in spiritual reflection. Comfortable accommodations are in the form of a three-bedroom bungalow, which includes amenities such as a full kitchen and sitting room. Seven rooms of the center are set aside for retreat and conference purposes, and a quaint chapel is also on-site. (http://www.thekairoscentre.co.uk)

By Courtney Lind