Retreat with us and be spiritually renewed

Retreats at Minsteracres

2023 Programme

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We offer a varied programme of day, weekend and week-long events throughout the year. Please see the programme details below.

Individual Retreats

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We offer individual retreats and are happy to provide guidance, or you can have space to yourself for reflection.  Please use the enquiry form below.

Welcome to Our 2023 Programme

Situated in the land of the northern saints in beautiful countryside on the borders of Northumberland and County Durham, our community based retreat centre is ideally placed to promote the development of both the spiritual and the natural world.

Calendar for 2023

Our retreats are listed below in a calendar view – please click on the retreat of your choice to find out more and book online.  

Welcome to our  programme.

Here you will find brief details of our varied day, weekend and week-long events. Situated in the land of the Northern Saints in beautiful countryside on the borders of Northumberland and County Durham, our community based retreat centre is ideally placed to promote the development of both the spiritual and the natural world.

Here at Minsteracres we embed our retreats in our Passionist charisms of Prayer, Hospitality and the Environment, this coming year we rejoice, with confidence, that God always keeps his promises.   
Our Theme for 2023 is:

“Behold, I am making all things new!”  Also he said ‘write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ (Rev.21:5)

Although we continue to live through turbulent times of fear and uncertainty God has been active even when we have not been able to recognise it. 

Our theme for 2023 is designed to strengthen and re-energise us, reminding us that God is forever the Creator in our lives, recreating light from darkness.

 

We hope that this programme will be able to offer you multiple ways of reconnecting with your spiritual journey whilst offering nourishment and the support of a  collective journey with opportunities to rediscover hope and joyfulness in God’s generosity and renewal.

Here at Minsteracres, we have accommodation for up to 70 people across 2 houses, set in 110 acres of outstanding gardens, park and woodland.

Minsteracres’ mission

Minsteracres Retreat Centre provides a space where people feel welcome, can be themselves and are enabled to find healing and wholeness in their relationship with God, with themselves, with others and with creation.

During all of our retreats we will be invited to consider new ways of attending to and living out the Gospel.

We look forward to  welcoming you!

It costs approximately £1,500 per day to run Minsteracres Retreat Centre. The suggested offerings indicated help us to cover our costs, but no one should feel excluded for financial reasons and concessions are available.

February 2023

Thursday 9th - Sunday 11th February 6.30pm-2pm
This retreat will lay the foundations of Stoicism as a guide to life by focusing on the basic tenets of Stoic practice.  Using lectures, discussion and meditation, we will explore the Stoic concepts of ‘Living in agreement with nature,’ the three lived disciplines, the ‘Nature of the good’ and ‘indifferents,’ to see how these might help us to achieve Happiness (Eudaemonia).

March 2023

Wednesday, 8th March 10am-5pm
Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots, warm and weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch. The retreat starts at 10am and ends at 5pm
Friday 10th - Sunday 12th March 6.30pm - 2pm
This new and unique retreat for men, facilitated by Fr David Marsden and the the national association of "The Men of St Joseph", aims to both equip and motivate men to live out their vocational call to responsive manhood/fatherhood in their families, workplaces and church communities. Identifying potential trigger points for inertia and dormancy, we will explore a deeper Son-ship with the Father and subsequently our brotherhood with men. We will be energised to live, with passion, our vocation as men, drawing on the effectiveness of how collaborative working supports change and transformation. The weekend will include talks, workshops, testimonies, prayer and social time

Seasons of Hope - SPRING - Creative Poetry
Darren Harper

£45
Monday 13th March 10am-4pm
What does 'Spring' mean to you? Is it the season of new beginnings? This day course, suitable for aspiring or more advanced poets, will begin by exploring exemplars of the season, including Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Mary Oliver. Afterwards, we will begin crafting our own poems, inspired by the Spring setting of the beautiful Minsteracres. Lunch and refreshments included.
Wednesday 15th March 10am-4pm
An opportunity to step aside and make time this Lent to listen to God in Scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
Wednesday 22nd March 10am-4pm
An opportunity to step aside and make time this Lent to listen to God in Scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
Wednesday 29th March 10am-4pm
An opportunity to step aside and make time this Lent to listen to God in Scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. Lunch and refreshments are provided.

April 2023

Saturday 1st April 10am-5pm
Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots, warm and weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch. The retreat starts at 10am and ends at 5pm
Thursday 6th April - Sunday 9th April 6.30pm-2pm
An Invitation to our reflective Holy Week Retreat - You are invited to join our Minsteracres community as we journey through the holy days leading up to Easter. Enjoy the rhythm of community life as we engage in the ceremonies of the Triduum and reflect on the wonderful gift of the Resurrection.
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th April 6.30pm - 2pm
We invite you to this profound and thought provoking retreat, where we look closely at the Encyclical and reflect on our own Passionist charisms of Prayer, Hospitality and Environment. During this retreat we will have an opportunity to engage with CAFOD and our Minsteracres Team to reflect upon our eco-friendly strategies, and collaborative and sustainable developments, echoing a Laudato Si transferable strategy for community life.
Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd April 6.30pm - 2pm
Following the pandemic there have been many consequences affecting people's lives, not only loss of life, but ruptures that have occured in ourselves, our rupture with God, the interpersonal rupture and the rupture with creation (our environment/work). The aim of this retreat is to bring about a healing of our interior brokenness, developing integration and wholeness so that we can serve Christ and His Church in greater freedom and joy. This weekend will comprise talks, workshops, discussion, quiet reflection and an honest receptivity to battling some of the issues of the heart which may be impeding our progress. Couples, single, divorced or bereaved people are very welcome to join us.
Monday 24th April 10am-4pm
A quiet day to experience and pray with the meditative music of Taizé. Come and join us for some beautiful singing and reflections that enable us to pause and re-energise our spirits inviting the serenity of rhythmical prayer into the heart. Lunch and refreshments are included.
Saturday 29th April 10am-4pm
On this day retreat, you will be introduced to the timeless work of Estelle White , professional, musician and nun. Estelle transformed musical praise with hymns including 'Oh the Love of my Lord is the Essence' and 'I Saw the Grass'. Veronica Whitty takes us on a journey wherein we discover the woman, her influences and her adversities and we encounter her choice to focus on praise over suffering. We explore the contemporary significance of her music, influenced by St. Mark's Gospel, and question how her work can influence our own prayer life today. Lunch and refreshments included.

May 2023

Monday 1st May 10am-4pm
Have you ever wanted to have a look around our house and grounds and discover hidden secrets from the past? Now is your chance! With exhibitions, tours, moments of reflection, refreshments and lovely homecooking to sample.
Saturday 10th May 10am-5pm
Walk through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres for about seven to ten miles, making time for prayer and reflection, whilst absorbing the beautiful creation all around us. You will need suitable walking boots, warm, weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch.
Monday 22nd -Friday 26th May 6.30pm 2pm -
Spend a week at Minsteracres following in the footsteps of the Northern Saints such as Aidan, Cuthbert, Oswald, Hilde and Bede. Find out about their spirituality and motivation, early Celtic spirituality and visit the iconic places where they lived out their faith. Includes visits to Holy Island, Bamburgh, Durham and Hadrian’s Wall.
Wednesday 24th May 10am-4pm
Another opportunity to join us on this very poignant retreat day, for people who have experienced bereavement, grief, loss or significant change, offering a safe space in which to be heard and to share with others who have had similar experiences. An opportunity to find courage, hope and consolation. Lunch and refreshments included.
Friday 26th - Sunday 28th May 6.30pm-2pm
This will be an opportunity to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost, encountering the beckoning silence and stillness that draws us to God. We shall engage in talks, discussions, shared prayer and praise as we explore the writings of the Acts of the Apostles and discover their meaning and direction for our lives.

June 2023

Saturday 3rd June 10am-4pm
The ancient tradition of circle dancing, has held prominence globally as being an expressive cultural medium to celebrate, strengthen and draw communities together. Circle dance can be both energetic and lively, but also gentle and reflective movement. This exciting program explores the beauty of music whilst incorporating responsive movements which echo feelings, mood and non-verbal self-expression which touches the soul and the imagination. Throughout the retreat you will have an opportunity to learn both traditional and contemporary dance movement, continuous sequences will follow a meditative and contemplative pattern and will be punctuated with reflective readings. Lunch and refreshments included.
Monday 5th June 10am-4pm
A quiet day to experience and pray with the meditative music of Taizé. Come and join us for some beautiful singing and reflections that enable us to pause and re-energise our spirits inviting the serenity of rhythmical prayer into the heart. Lunch and refreshments are included.
Monday 12th June 10am-4pm
What does Summer mean to you? Is it the season most redolent of a carefree childhood? This day course, suitable for aspiring or more advanced poets, will begin by exploring exemplars of the season, including Henry David Thoreau, Wallace Stevens and Seamus Heaney. After that, we will begin crafting our own poems, inspired by the Summer setting of Minstreacres Retreat Centre. Lunch and refreshments included.
Tuesday 13th June 10am-4pm
"To act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with your God." - (Micah: 6.v8)
A day to reflect on the timeless message from the prophet Micah and it's relevance to our own lives and the times in which we live. Lunch and refreshments included.
Friday 16th -Sunday 18th June 6.30pm-2pm
An opportunity to enter more deeply into the 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit' - the life transforming experience of the love of God, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, received through a surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The weekend will bring alive the graces of Sacramental Baptism and Confirmation equipping people with charisms for both service and mission.
Monday 19th -Wednesday 21st June 6.30pm-2pm
The word ‘Saint’ holds its origin in from the Greek word ‘Hagios’ – ‘Sanctus’ -meaning holy/set apart. Often when we consider the lives of the Saints we evoke the middle-ages and consider the infamous lives which have significantly impacted on the world, often pictures which depict individuals with halos of bright light, suggesting that saints were only mystical people from the past. On this retreat, however, we will encounter the ‘Saints in our own Times’, many of whom are married, single and lay people. Come and find out who they are and what we can learn from them! We will explore the invitation that we are ‘All Called to be Saints’ (Rom 1:7) You will be inspired!

July 2023

Tuesday 4th -Thursday 6th July 6.30pm-2pm
Enjoy a three day residential walking retreat. Explore our fantastic area. You will need suitable walking boots, and warm, weatherproof clothing. Each day we will set of after a hearty breakfast, to explore the Northumberland walk ways, the views will be spectacular, and a wonderful chance to retreat for a while and recharge your bateries

August 2023

Saturday 12th August -10am-2pm
A wonderful opportunity to gather in honour of Mary, Mother of God. We will explore the beauty of praying the rosary and how to integrate it into our daily life as a mindful prayer of contemplation, praise and intercession. We are delighted to welcome back this very prayerful and socialble event and invite you to enjoy the perfect setting for taking in the peace and ambiance of Minsteracres. Please bring a packed lunch.
Saturday 19th August -10am-5pm
Walk through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres for about seven to ten miles, making time for prayer and reflection, whilst absorbing the beautiful creation all around us. You will need suitable walking boots, warm, weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch.
Saturday 19th -10am-4pm
Service changes people, it can bring about a spirit of generosity, which not only purifies the giver, but can transform the life of the recipient. Come and explore the significance of service and hospitality. You are invited to join us for a peek behind the scenes on a typical day at Minsteracres. Punctuated by reflections, and with the help of cookery demonstrations given by our experienced chefs, not only will you have delicious tasters to savour, but you will also gain insight and transferable skills, designed to enhance your culinary expertise in the comfort of your own kitchen. In the afternoon, discussions and explorations into the work of our Hospitality Team, will be followed by a scrumptious tea trolley and an end of day reflection with an opportunity to share your own experiences of the value of service. A perfect day for anyone reflecting upon the charisms of service and hospitality or those considering undertaking volunteering opportunities.

September 2023

Friday 1st - 8th September 6.30pm -2pm
This retreat is held in silence and will be led by members of the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow in collaboration with the Minsteracres Team. Opportunities for reflection, spiritual direction and spiritual accompaniment are available throughout the retreat.
Saturday 9th September-10am-5pm
Walk through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres for about seven to ten miles, making time for prayer and reflection, whilst absorbing the beautiful creation all around us. You will need suitable walking boots, warm, weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch.
Thursday 14th September-10am-4pm
An opportunity to step aside, listen to God in Scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside here at Minsteracres. Lunch and refreshments included.
Friday 15th - Sunday 17th September 6.30pm-2pm
The Embodied Contemplative Retreat will explore finding inner stillness and peace through the practice of both Christian Meditation and gentle Tai Chi movement and breath work. It is suitable for all ages and abilities. Come with a beginner's mind and enjoy learning!
Tuesday 19th September 10am-4pm
What does Autumn mean to you? Is it the season of philosophical meditation? This day course, suitable for aspiring or more advanced poets, will begin by exploring exemplars, including John Keats, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Ted Hughes. After that we shall start crafting our own poems inspired by the Autumn setting of Minsteracres. Lunch and Refreshments included.
Wednesday 20th-Friday 22nd September 6.30pm - 2pm
We welcome Fr Louis in facilitating our Marian Retreat which explores the life, and Divine Motherhood of Mary. Adopting Franciscan perspectives on Mary, Fr Louis takes us on a journey which introduces us to the many dimensions of Mary as woman, mother and intercessor.
Friday 22nd -Sunday 24th September 6.30pm -2pm
Over many years a secret has gradually been revealed to me that God can be found in various circumstances and situations in life. Sometimes God is found in darkness and suffering but also through beauty and creativity and when we discover joy, in the silence of our hearts. On this retreat, we will explore God’s revelation of beauty, through the mediums of photography, creative writing, Scripture and prayer.
Friday 29th September -Sunday 1st October 6.30pm - 2pm
This retreat will increase our understanding of Stoicism as a guide to life by focusing on the Discipline of Desire. Using lectures, discussion and meditation, we will explore the Stoic framework of fate and free will, their attitude of joyful acceptance, and their approach to love and friendship, as well as their ideal of the Sage.

October 2023

Tuesday 3rd October -10am-4pm
An opportunity to sep aside, listen to God in Scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside here at Minsteracres. Lunch and refreshments included.
Friday 6th - Sunday 8th October - 6.30pm-2pm
A warm welcome to individuals and parishes to join us here at Minsteracres for a reflective retreat which comprises talks, discussions, reflections and social time.
Tuesday 10th October -10am-4pm
Meister Eckhart (c.1260-1328) was a German Dominican friar, an academic, a theologian, and most importantly a mystic – and his extraordinary writings still speak vividly to our contemporary world. This retreat day will give an insight into some of his most famous themes, particularly that of the ‘Eternal Birth of God in the Soul.’ We will explore the mystical voice of Meister Erkhart, and quietly discern interpretations meanings, and relevance of his beckoning call to us in the clamorous and agitated world of the 21st Century. Lunch and refreshments included.
Wednesday 11th October -10am-5pm
Walk through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres for about seven to ten miles, making time for prayer and reflection, whilst absorbing the beautiful creation all around us. You will need suitable walking boots, warm, weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch.

November 2023

Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th November - 6.30pm-2pm
A warm welcome to individuals and parishes to join us here at Minsteracres for a reflective retreat which comprises talks, discussions, reflections and social time.
Saturday 18th November-10am-5pm
Walk through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres for about seven to ten miles, making time for prayer and reflection, whilst absorbing the beautiful creation all around us. You will need suitable walking boots, warm, weatherproof clothing and a packed lunch.

December 2023

Friday 1st -Sunday 3rd December 6.30pm-2pm
Welcome to our Advent Retreat, where we discern the idea of Waiting for the Lord. As we begin to prepare for the feast of Christmas, we challenge ourselves to use this time to reflect on our spiritual readiness for the forthcoming gift.
Monday 11th December 10am-4pm
What does Winter mean to you? Is it the season when we’re most consoled by companionship? This day course, suitable for aspiring or more advanced poets, will begin by exploring exemplars, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost and Gjertrud Schnackenberg. After that we shall start crafting our own poems, inspired by the Winter setting of Minsteracres. Lunch and refreshments included.

As part of our programme of organised events we offer residential and day retreats during which we explore the annual theme.

Behold I am making all things new.” Rev. 21:5, is our theme for 2023

We hope it will help you to connect with your unique individual life journey and offer nourishment for the collective journey of faith communities in this time of change for the Church. Our retreats provide space to reflect and pray and to have quality time with others.

You can also come to us for an individual retreat, enabling yourself to take a step back from everyday life, relax, reflect and be nourished. We are happy to offer you guidance whilst you are here or you may decide just to have some space to yourself.

We have many resources for reflection: the pilgrim walk – a reflective walk through the grounds; Trasna (the labyrinth); the Cross of Hope; stations of the cross; prayer spaces; peace garden and the art studio. Minsteracres is also ideally located for visiting the places associated with the Northern Saints.

We welcome groups which support our ethos and want to use Minsteracres as a venue for an event or workshop. We can accommodate up to 80 people for residential or day events. We offer warm hospitality and good home cooking, using organic and locally sourced foods. Our youth centre is self-catering, with dormitories and separate accommodation for group leaders.

We have made a video about what it is like to come on retreat and at the bottom of the page you’ll find stories about different people’s experiences here at Minsteracres.

Retreat Questions

A retreat is exactly what it sounds like — the chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and just ‘be’ in a welcoming, peaceful and inspiring place like Minsteracres.

Retreats are for ordinary people at any time in their lives. There are no expectations on anyone going on retreat and you don’t need to be a churchgoer – we welcome people who share our values.

Do you:

  • Wish for some quiet time to reflect on things that matter most to you?
  • Need some time away from work or family?
  • Want to deepen your spiritual life?
  • Want to simply pray?
  • Want to develop a particular interest?      …then a retreat might be just for you.

Retreats offer the opportunity to:

  • Find space
  • Reflect
  • Pray and worship in peaceful and comfortable surroundings

We offer a wide variety of retreats including retreats:

  • For the beginner
  • With a theme such as Holy Week, Pentecost, Advent,
  • Structured with a programme
  • For individuals or groups who wish to deepen their faith
  • Free form where you can do your own thing

Thanks to the presence of the resident community there is always a warm welcome and a real sense of being a guest in their home. The community is the guardian of the Passionist ethos of Minsteracres, which is expressed through a life of prayer, presence and hospitality.

  • We offer a warm welcome to all
  • We have beautiful Grade II buildings set in an 110 acre estate of gardens and woodland
  • We have a wide range of meeting rooms from small (up to 10 people) to large (up to 90 people)
  • We have a library, various prayer spaces and an art room that are available to use
  • We offer overnight accommodation—from simple rooms with shared facilities to a few en suite rooms
  • We provide tasty, home-cooked food and can accommodate special dietary needs with advanced warning
  • We cater for those with disabilities

Yes, we welcome people who wish to spend some time alone.

Yes, we offer the opportunity to talk to someone in complete confidence. We can also provide individually guided retreats where someone is assigned to listen and guide you whilst on retreat.

A retreat varies in length but is usually anything from two to seven days. We also offer one-day retreats such as quiet days and walking retreats throughout the year.

Yes. It costs over £1,000 per day to keep Minsteracres Retreat Centre running.  We do not have another principal source of income and so we charge our visitors a competitive rate to cover our costs (but not to profit) that include:

  • Maintaining the Grade II buildings and 110 acre estate
  • Providing food and accommodation for all our visitors
  • Paying for staff and retreat leaders

If you have any questions please get in touch.