Shelter in Place
Tue 02 February 2021
Waiting patiently ...
So, we're all ready to welcome guests again just as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. In the meantime we are keeping busy with maintenance of place and people - redecorating, training, accounts/audit, gardens/grounds, etc. The Hub membership continues to climb (over 2,000) and we notice the pandemic is no longer the top topic of conversation - a year on it is more the background for all the usual/same old struggles and joys of ministry. We know that so many are digging deep to keep stepping up and leading through difficult times, and it's doubly hard when replenishment resources like retreats are not available.
We plan to build on our experience from last year to welcome as many guests as we possibly can this year. We managed to fit in 200 private retreat bookings and 70 bookings for R5s and led retreats between lockdowns in 2020. A privilege to provide rest for the weary ones and bind up the broken-hearted. Although we are sad that coronavirus precautions mean Sheldon is missing a few of the things that make it special, we found guests were just hugely grateful that we were able to be open at all so they could share this wonderful space.
We have now published our programme from Easter to the end of August, continuing to keep things as safe, simple and sustainable as we possibly can. Last year we made structural alterations to provide really good ventilation, bought portable air-sanitisers to use wherever guests are meeting or eating, and re-worked every aspect of how we host guests from arrival to departure. We are currently building the infrastructure (water, electricity, hard standing for a 'field kitchen') for a 24 x 6m marquee on the lawn to give us masses of extra under-cover space for a variety of uses over the coming months. The picture below shows the frame of just one section. We understand how essential physical distancing and air circulation (plus masks and sanitising) are to keeping everyone safe.
Capacity will still be limited and we expect demand to be high, so we are offering priority bookings to people in ministry, people in front line public service roles (link to bursaries for NHS workers) and Friends of Sheldon. The first opportunities back will be private retreats. We are just asking for a £20 non-refundable deposit (cancellation terms) to secure the option on a booking and learning to be very agile in handling multiple changes at short notice!
Do give us a ring on 01647-252752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you need and get your booking in the diary.
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