Tue 13 July 2021
The retreat centre is bustling, with new growth amongst the gardens and sheep, and new ways of providing hospitality safely under the ‘new normal’. The community has become adept at smiling through face masks, and since we take the safety of our guests very seriously, we will continue to exercise caution even as governmental regulations loosen. We have honed our COVID protocols, which are now part of our daily routines.
The new marquee was blessed on 31 May and is seeing its first sustained use for the July R5. It will be an adventure adapting to an outdoor ‘field servery’ for all meals throughout the summer season.
Welcoming you back
The gradual lifting of travel restrictions has brought a rush of retreat bookings for both led and private retreats. People are hungry for the opportunity to get away and recharge their batteries. Private retreats have been nearly at full capacity since Easter. We are committed to the application of safe, simple, and sustainable practices -- all part of the service of providing a stress-free atmosphere. Here is a listing of our autumn programme, including both led retreats and R5 weeks. Come join us!
Stretching into the future
Reopening to our fullest possible capacity is proving to be a time of growing and stretching for the Sheldon community. As the weather and the pace of hospitality heat up, the community is continually perfecting our methods of bringing people together in safety and comfort. While guests experience the massages, 1:1 sessions, meals and accommodation provided by the various members of the team, what you don’t see is the essential (and often invisible) administration of the retreat centre, the estate, and the vision of Sheldon. Both aspects of the work – the visible and the hidden – are essential. Each element of your visit is the result of thoughtful and thorough design, love, care, and prayer, from meticulous menu planning to the tranquillity that awaits you in the chapels and the gardens.
Another facet of ‘stretching’ these past few weeks has been the integration of our new Alongsider, Nancy. It has been good to welcome her into the community, and observe her as she encounters the thousand-and-one little details that make the retreat experience at Sheldon so regenerative for our guests. Attention to detail is an oft-undervalued virtue, highly prized at Sheldon not for its own sake, but for the sake of the other who is Christ. Our hope is that everything should be provided for the weary guest before they even recognize the need for it. Here, attention to detail is another way of loving your neighbour.
As the 17th century poet George Herbert says in “The Elixir”:
Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee…
A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine:
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and th' action fine.
That was true in 1633, and it is as profoundly true nearly 400 years later. In this spirit, as always, we pray for the Friends of Sheldon, people in ministry, and all those who send in specific prayer requests.
We are ready and waiting to welcome you!
Do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01647-252752.
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