MINISTRIES by DESIGN is based at The Vine @ Mays Farm.
The Vine is a place for spiritual sanctuary and sustenance, and the name came partly from the two Vines growing in the Orchard and partly from John 15 where Jesus says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches – abide in Me.” The Vine offers the opportunity and space you may need to draw aside from everyday life and spend time ABIDING and BEING, waiting on God, taking time for reflection and repose.
The house is a 17th Century Cotswold Farmhouse, renovated and refurbished to be a wonderfully welcoming and restful place. There are five large bedrooms, each with ensuite facilities. Breakfast is often served in your room so you can start gently and have time without even rushing downstairs! Lots of places for sitting and dreaming – the Drawing Room, the Library, the Chapel; or the Orchard with its summer house and the gardens (which are currently a work-in-progress after the renovations!)
See our Retreats page for details of what The Vine @ MbD offers. Individuals and Groups are welcomed, either on one of the offered Retreats, or to ‘do their own thing.’
Currently the house is being renovated. There are Preview (free) retreats available in the summer of 2013, and The Vine will open fully from September.
Do contact MbD if you have any queries.
Chair: Lis McCormick Treasurer: Simon Braid
Board members: Sarah Carr, Doug McCormick, Moyne Lawson Johnston
Full details of each of the Board of Trustees will soon be available here.
The Revd Penelope Swithinbank
Penelope has a heart for women from all walks of life and loves encouraging them in reaching their God-given potential. She is a widely recognized international speaker for conferences and retreats and the author of “Women By Design”. Having been involved in ministry for over 25 years she has filled the role of pastor’s wife, volunteer, and now ordained Anglican minister and Ignatian Spiritual Director. Having been a teacher, business woman, bed and breakfast owner, pastor, mother and now grandmother she connects with women on a personal level and has a spirit filled gift of walking alongside them.
Penelope and her husband Kim have three children and six small grandchildren. She and her husband have moved from a large busy London parish to their home area near Bath, in the southern Cotswolds.
Previously, Penelope and Kim spent seven years living and working in the USA; Penelope was Director of Community at The Falls Church, in N Virginia, and then Interrim Rector at Church of our Saviour in South Carolina.
Penelope’s time at Ministries by Design will be mostly running retreats at The Vine, as well as leading pilgrimages, speaking on women’s conferences, writing and being a Spiritual Director, particularly to women in full time ministry.
Penelope has led Retreats for many churches; been a main speaker on Alpha Conferences in the USA and Australia; spoken at the annual MOPS convention in Nashville, TN; and led Pilgrimages in Europe. Penelope has a Masters in Theology from St Andrews University, Scotland, and degrees in both Education and Pastoral Theology from Cambridge University, England. In her quiet moments you can find her with the family, travelling, reading, writing, cooking or on a long walk. Kim has had 35 years in the ordained Anglican ministry, both in the UK and the States; he has been involved with Alpha over many years, leading and speaking on over 100 conferences. He has been on the staff at All Souls Langham Place with John Stott, was Rector for 12 years of St George’s Stamford, and latterly was Vicar at St James Muswell Hill, north London. He has degrees in Theology from Cambridge and Durham, and in his spare time he loves to be on the golf course. Kim is currently on sabbatical.