She arrived for her two nights away, late for supper. She hadn't come far - was the traffic bad, I wondered. No, she had inadvertently fallen asleep during the afternoon. She had cleared her busy parish diary from lunch time, in order to come away on retreat, sat down after lunch before setting off to drive here - and had fallen asleep not realising how tired she felt. We fed her, she collected her bag from the car, went to her room - and didn't reappear until supper the next day.
I admit I was a little worried - people have sometimes, often, slept all morning, but never all day! So by mid-afternoon I went to her room to check. She was curled up, fast asleep, and I had only woken her. I apologised and beat a hasty retreat. (no pun intended) But she appeared at supper, profusely and incredibly grateful for the space and time and peace that had enabled her to sleep for nearly 24 hours.
Before she left, she wrote in the visitors' book. “I have, even in a brief couple of days, found a profound peace here, such a wonderful sense of God’s peace, which I needed to experience. Thank you for letting me sleep. This really is a wonderful place of God. I will be back!”
So The Vine is here for you - for you to sleep if that's what you need! And for many of us, exhausted from the endless pressures of daily life, what we need is the space and time to BE. To come and say, "I'm not doing very well .... I need time to rest, sleep, because I'm living and working out of tiredness.... I want to redefine my life by who I am in Christ not by what I am seen to be doing."
The Vine has the flexibility to enable you to have what you need, what will be most helpful. And sometimes that's rest, sleep. A massage, breakfast in bed, a good book or a magazine. There's a well stocked library, current issues of "Country Life," and no need to do or be anything or anyone.
But, at other times, you need opportunities for something else - and we have that too:
part of the national retreat events for the weekend of June 13 - 15 2014 and Ideal for those who have not experienced a retreat before.
A time to step away from normal routines and try some space and sanctuary.
A guided retreat but with plenty of down time. And breakfast in bed if you would like. Walks, rhythm of prayers in Chapel, good food, comfy beds .... 48 hours of time to BE (with help on that if you need it!)
- Friday, June 13, 2014 – Sunday, June 15, 2014
choice of dates:
A weekend of peace and quiet!
If you're a writer: time and space to get on with your opus magnum; chat with others over meals for further inspiration; encourage and support each other in getting down to the actual words on a page! And morning and evening hemming of the day with a guided devotional time to provide spiritual nourishment. If you just want space, time, peace ... this is the weekend for you! Breakfast in bed, time to relax, read, pray .... AND WRITE! Your hosts are each published writers. Maximum of 5 people. Private en-suite rooms. Full board.
- Friday, July 11, 2014 – Sunday, July 13, 2014
If you would like to come, book soon before these go online!
- Walking Holiday August 24 – 30 2014
There will be a different daily guided local walk, of some 7 – 10 miles, in various parts of the beautiful Cotswold areas near us, such as Castle Combe to Ford, Old Sodbury, the Cotswold Way near Bath. Daily devotional times. Dinner bed & breakfast provided (we stop for lunch at hostelries en route where you can purchase sustenance) Accommodation in twin rooms - maximum of 10 people. Fully guided walks, evening devotional sessions. Prices from just £490 for this 7 day holiday with 6 days of walking, DBB.
- Walking Week Summer 2015 FROM SPIRE TO SPA
Walking from Oxford to Bath through some of the loveliest of the southern Cotswold towns. Stay each night at The Vine for dinner bed and breakfast; transport out and back each day; (we stop for lunch at hostelries en route where you can purchase sustenance) Accommodation in twin rooms - maximum of 10 people. Further details and prices will be available soon. Oxford is only an hour from us by car, Bath 30 minutes, so the drive each day is not as bad as it sounds at first!
To book on any of our retreats - whether guided or individual - please fill in the form HERE
Details of retreats can be found at:
"Once we arrived, the house drew us in like a hug and neither of us had any inclination to go anywhere ..... The ultimate hosts are surely people who who provide the perfect atmosphere and space in which to rest and dream and spend time with God. Unwittingly, perhaps, Penelope has built the kind of haven she once desperately needed and was unable to find at the time. It's clear she takes great pleasure in seeing others blessed by it." - Deborah, writing on her blog about her retreat at The Vine