Easter Retreat 14 -17 April 2017

This is the fourth year of our spring retreat. It provides as opportunity to spend some time in   beautiful countryside, and reflect on the past and plan for the future.  It is not a specifically Christian retreat, but offers a broadly spiritual approach.  People of different faiths and none have attended in the past.
The retreat will start with dinner on Good Friday, and end after lunch on the Monday. Participants are asked to join in a session each morning, and then there are  optional sessions in the afternoon and evening.
The morning sessions will be guided meditation and small group discussions. The optional sessions will include
  • Country walks
  • Creative activities
  • Dance
  • Conversations round the fire
The meals are all vegetarian, and participants will be invited to join in activities such as vegetable preparation, table laying and washing up.
The retreat will be  held by Jane Stott, Michael Giddings and Muriel Pichard. If anyone would like to discuss whether it is suitable for them, do contact Jane at

Cost: The retreat costs £120 non residential, including evening meals. B&B accommodation is available in the farmhouse for £35 a night single occupancy and £25 in a shared room. The rooms share bathrooms.


We are welcoming a raft of new folk during the next few months.
Steve has already joined us to take up residence in Swallows, (welcome Steve), while we are waiting with fingers crossed for Ed to come into Timber Barn 3. He is living in Germany at the moment, but with Linda’s help, managed on his last visit to fill in all the forms necessary for the Housing Association. Val and Andy McKenzie (aka Mac) are in the process of buying Duckponds, and as soon as the solicitors get moving, will be arriving here. Val has been joining us on many Tuesday work mornings, so it will be great when they are finally here properly. Janet will soon be in The Byre and finally, Peter has purchased Oak Cottage. More about his varied life follows later.

Garden News

Back in October we held a one-day event, Orchard Day (with Pumpkins and Poetry), to which we invited mostly local friends to join us for a community work morning, bring-and-share lunch, and/or an afternoon of social activities. Chris, our local scythes-man, was the star of the orchard – he not only did a lot of scything himself, but he also showed a few of the group how to use a scythe, so a lot of the rough grass and pioneer trees and brambles were cleared. 

Meanwhile Gay and her team created a beautiful  bower over Caroline’s bench, by tying in some of the tall branches of the willows that had been planted as cuttings way back at the beginning.  And Alenka and friends labelled all the fruit trees, and picked masses of apples –  separating them into the different varieties for cooking, eating or making cider (which I confess we never got around to!).  Then it was time to enjoy the huge variety of lovely grub provided by everyone for lunch.  In the afternoon we mostly retired to the polytunnel  to carve faces in our massive pumpkins whilst listening to stories and poems told by everyone. We braved the weather briefly for a song and dance around the bonfire, before retreating back to the farmhouse for tea and cake!  Altogether a good day.

Following the pattern of our successful Orchard Day in October, we held a Work and Willow Day on Sunday 19th Feb.  This was partly a community work day, with local friends invited to join in with garden jobs in the morning, and/or come to lunch and have a go at willow weaving in the afternoon.  We invited Cath Pratley (of Cradle to Grave coffin and basket makers in Marnhull), to come and give us a few tips on basket weaving and together we made a lovely living willow arch with woven panels.  

Despite the veg garden and orchard being waterlogged as usual at this time of year, we got a lot of work done, including some scything and some willow coppicing (thanks to Chris the local scythes-man), and we actually used some of the willow we had cut to make our arch.  Eventually we hope to be able to use all our own willow to make things, but first the young trees need to be coppiced properly to encourage the long straight stakes and ‘weavers’ to be produced.

Our plan is to invite Cath to come back to do one of her one-day workshops here.  She charges £60 per person for the day and she provides all the materials.  Do come and have a go – we’ll be mainly making garden trugs!  Date to be advised.

On our Work and Willow Day we also turned the compost heaps and managed to get some lovely stuff onto the garden beds.  These are mostly starting to look ready for planting again – after the winter when quite a few of our keen gardeners had moved on to pastures new and some of the beds had been trying to get back to nature!  We also weeded and put another layer of woodchip on the paths in the polytunnel - which has been providing us with lots of fresh green salad leaves all winter.

Meanwhile Spring is just around the corner, Duckponds garden is a mass of snowdrops, and there are daffodils everywhere coming out, and we have an amazing number of birds singing away around our Village Green.   Yesterday I saw both a bee and a butterfly!

Next up is our Gardening/Work Weekend on 18th/19th March,
followed by our annual Easter Retreat in April. 
Please email if you would like a booking form for either of these.
Vacancies that remain are Sun Cottage for sale,
and rooms in our farmhouse for rent.  
Please see the website

Welcome to Peter!

Peter Sherwood-Roberts was born in Sydney, Australia into a family that could trace its ancestry back to the Irish convicts of the Dublin potato riots. His adult education took place at both Sydney University and Monash University, Melbourne where he studied Engineering, Maths and Physics, gaining a post graduate PhD. in computer design. This led him to become a rocket scientist for the Australian Government until the age of 25.
At this point in his career he came to England, where he became a lecturer in computer science at Imperial College, London University.

After two years he then went into business as an independent consultant, where, for the next 40 years, whilst based on and off in the UK, he worked in Germany, Holland, France, USA, Hong Kong and Singapore before finally returning to England. During this time he set up and ran various small companies involved with the computing aspects of business, and was a consultant to the senior audit partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers UK. Through all this time he was developing an interest in Organic Gardening and Permaculture and he moved to Spain in 2010 to pursue these interests, returning to the UK to live at Threshold in 2016.

On the personal side, after his time in Germany, he met his wife-to-be at a London garden party, and they were married three years later. Following this came four wonderful children, three boys and then a girl. The boys have become IT project manager, actor and musician respectively while his daughter is studying as a post graduate in international development in Melbourne. His eldest son has provided him with a granddaughter. All but his daughter now live in and around London.

Peter first came to the Threshold Centre three years ago on a meditation retreat and then kept on returning! He became interested in living here, but lost out on Oak Cottage to Jan. When she moved on he was completely ready to buy her property, having visited and researched other cohousing projects in the meantime.
We welcome visitors to our monthly
Afternoon Tea
Open Meditations
Please remember that this is also our home and we have busy lives, so turning up hoping to be hosted and shown round could end in disappointment - Thank you.
With best wishes from us all,
Michael, Gay, Andrew, Linda, Ella, Bill, John, Peter, Alenka, Camilla, Steve
and not forgetting the cats Flash & Eddy.

For furthur information
Tel: 01747 821929
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