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As Fr Jereon reflects here, the summer season has arrived: the swallows have returned to Minsteracres, the sheep are in the fields and the rhododendrons are parading their colourful flowers.  Our refurbishment of St Elizabeth's church uncovered other colourful decoration which you'll see below, and peace gardener Mary Leach talks about what being part of the garden's Thursday group means for her. We hear about the visit of a group of 41 women from across Europe involved in  monastic, diaconal or active service in their church who came together at Minsteracres last month, and we welcome the visit of a 'sister' choir in June.

You can read more online at, and follow us on facebook and twitter. You would be surprised how much more you will learn!


Healing memories

With this edition of the newsletter we find ourselves almost halfway through the year. The summer season has arrived, swallows return to Minsteracres and the sheep are in the fields.

Kaire to Minsteracres

Kaire, a group of 41 women came together at Minsteracres last month from across Europe. Choosing the north east of England as the cradle of British Christianity, their aim was to rediscover the heart of their vocations.


Uncovering a surprise

The recent refurbishment of St Elizabeth’s church at Minsteracres threw up a surprise in the shape of beautiful gold and coloured stencils hidden beneath wallpaper on the sanctuary wall.

Sr Rosarie, Christine Coxon and Shirley Mansfield

Peace Garden’s the best thing

Entering its fifth year, it’s clear to see what a change the Peace Garden has made to the people who use it.One of those people is Mary Leach from Hexham who comes to Let’s Get Growing’s therapeutic Thursday gardening group as a participant, and as volunteer helper with their other group on a Tuesday.

Icon artist at work

Music, a shared passion

Music is a great leveller. It brings people together in shared expression. It is also the cornerstone of worship.Camille Mazarelo, parishioner and choir director of the parish's Rubato Singers tells us about the forthcoming visit of an American choir, and where you'll be able to see their joint performances.


News in brief

Look out for details of the Minsteracres summer fayre, Saturday 12 July 11am to 4pm. It's a great family day out.

Our recent open house on the first May bank holiday Monday was the biggest so far of these events. Three guides between them conducted 10 tours of the house, and our tea room was a rip-roaring success! If you’d like to join in the action, the next event is Tuesday 21st October.

Planning is well underway for our autumn environment day. The Big Green Festival on Sunday 21st September will be a celebration of conservation and volunteering, with stalls and demonstrations from dry stone walling and green woodworking, to sheepdog demonstrations and leatherworking. Full details available nearer the time.


Our recent recruitment campaigns in the autumn and then again this spring have been a great success. We have appointed 15 new dining room/hospitality volunteers, and 20 more are currently being interviewed as conservation volunteers.



Walking retreat        
Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer and reflection. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. Please bring a packed lunch. 
Wednesday 11 June 10am – 5pm       £10 

Parish retreat            
Friday 13– Sunday 15 June     £110  

Quiet day led by Sr Rosarie Spence  
An opportunity to step aside, listen to God in scripture and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the countryside. Coffee and tea are provided. Please bring a packed lunch.
Wednesday 2 July, 10am – 4pm         £15 

Families and friends of substance misusers           
A weekend of peace, space and relaxation for people who are living under the stress and strains of someone else’s substance misuse.
Friday 4 - Sunday 6 July          £110 

Summer fayre                                   
A fun day out in the beautiful setting of Minsteracres. Full details available nearer the time.
Saturday 12 July, 11am – 4pm   free     

Six day preached retreat led by John Farrell OP
‘Remember the Lord who is with us as we respond to his call to follow him.’
Using stories from the gospels we will explore the twin questions at the heart of our faith: Who is this One who is with us? And who are we who follow?
Monday 14 – Monday 21 July £395 

Three day walking retreat   
Three days with walks of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres. Every day starts with a reflection. You will need suitable walking boots and weatherproof clothing. Packed lunches will be provided.
Tuesday 15 (10am) – Thursday 17 July (5pm)            £110 

Peace and friendship led by Monique van den Hoogen
A workshop with music on the theme of peace and friendship, with texts from famous peacemakers and music by Karl Jenkins (The Peacemakers) and other composers.
Monday 21 – Sunday 27 July £450  

Rosary rally   
A prayerful afternoon at Minsteracres with celebration of the Eucharist, rosary procession through the grounds, and benediction.   
Saturday 16 August, 12 noon – 4pm

Individually guided retreat led by David Williams, Anne McCarthy and Peter Verity    
This retreat is held in an atmosphere of silence. There is a daily personal meeting with your retreat guide to reflect on each day and help you to see where and how God is working in your life.
Sunday 31 August – Friday 5 September        £335 

Tumble Trust weekend – chasing our hearts’ longings     led by David Mahon
Relaxation and the secrets of the inner journey.
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 September          £120 

Walking retreat        
Enjoy a walk of seven to ten miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer and reflection. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. Please bring a packed lunch.
Saturday 6 September, 10am – 5pm  £10 

Day of prayer led by Sr Rosarie Spence
This day enables you to experience different ways of praying in a beautiful setting and gives you time for quiet personal prayer. Lunch, tea and coffee are provided.
Wednesday 10 September      £25 

The Minsteracres programme for 2014 is available on the website

For further information, you can either email us at, contact us by post at Minsteracres Retreat Centre, Nr Consett, Co Durham, DH8 9RT, or call us on 01434 673 248.

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