Sheldon and Coronavirus : FAQs re Covid-19

Last updated 17th November

Our general approach to Covid-19 is one of serious caution and taking responsibility for putting mitigations in place. A pandemic requires shared endeavour to keep each other safe and not individual choice. This is becoming increasingly challenging in the face of erratic government policy. Our priority at Sheldon continues to be protecting the health of guests, staff and community rather than trying to maximise income. 

"... just to say, as always the organisation and care is wonderful - having arrived trying not to become increasingly stressed over the whole COVID nightmare, I am relaxing more and more, for which I am truly grateful"

We are fully open for private retreats.

Led retreats and R5 weeks are now posted through to Easter 2022. We are maintaining the policy of "safe, simple and sustainable" in order to be able to offer as many retreats as possible over the coming months. 

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(The Association for Promoting Retreats is offering NHS bursaries)

Private retreats

The minimum stay length is 3 nights for Hen Runs and Pig Pens and 5 nights for Linhay Lodges. This year we are not guaranteeing any category of accommodation so if you book a Lodge you need to be willing to take a Hen Run or Pig Pen instead.

Programme events

  • Our current listings are here.
  • If there is any doubt about the viability of an event, we will consult with participants 2 weeks in advance, (and delay your paying the balance to 1 week before arrival).
  • We are asking people on programme events to take a lateral flow test on the day of arrival, and day 3 or 4 of their visit. (Sheldon Community, staff and volunteers are doing the same.) Kits and instructions provided.
  • Details of how we manage shared meals

Cell groups, etc

Until the larger group bookings return we have space that can work really well for small groups. Each of the three options comprises 4 or 5 bedrooms with its own large meeting room and kitchen. You can book one of these as a socially distanced cell group or an extended household bubble. 


We have updated our arrangements for cancellations in the light of the uncertainties we all now have to manage. We want you to have the confidence to make a booking while having a reasonable framework for flexibility where needed.

Keeping Sheldon as safe as possible for those most at risk ...

Although the vaccine roll-out continues apace we are very aware that the Delta Variant is presenting new risks, our younger guests aren't yet fully vaccinated, many of our guests have underlying health problems or live with someone who is clinically vulnerable, and older guests will soon be needing the booster vaccination. The safety of all of us continues to depend on all of us being willing to take the additional precautions to keep each other safe.

Our attitude is generally a cautious one and we are currently planning all events through the summer on the basis of excellent ventilation, physical distancing and wearing masks. 
We are working on the basis that airborne transmission from asymptomatic people is the most important risk to mitigate.
We have cut back on all the earlier mitigations aimed at fomite transmission (ie via surfaces) as these risks now appear minimal. However, we continue to provide hand sanitiser and anti-viral spray for guests to use yourselves as this is something individuals can take more responsibility for if it's important to you.Sheldon continues to maintain very high standards of general cleanliness. 

On arrival there will be a welcome pack in your room with everything you need to know to help your stay go well. 
This will include packs for taking twice weekly lateral flow tests for guests on programme events (for private retreats, only if you are having a massage)

  • Ventilation - this is our top priority and rooms will always be well ventilated. We also have CO2 monitors to help with checking the efficiency of air circulation.
  • Physical distancing indoors - we are relaxing the exact distance a little as long as other mitigations are in place, especially ventilation. No restrictions on distancing outdoors.
  • Facemask  for everyone in reception, chapel and indoor meetings, queuing for meals/bar and any other shared indoor spaces (you can buy ours when you're here or bring your own with you). Masks not required outdoors. If you are unable to wear a facemask please discuss with us BEFORE making a booking. 

Food and drink

  • The Dining Room in the Pound House has a ventilation/extractor fan which is on at all times
  • Sliding doors along the length of the room also kept ajar (when cold) or open (when hot) for air circulation
  • Portable UVC-sanitiser unit
  • Full details of serving meals here

In Reception

  • You will be given an email address and dedicated telephone number for contacting us during your stay to reduce the need to come to reception in person
  • Two guests/households at a time, and 'overflow' space in adjacent room if needed

Community prayers

  • Seating spread out, numbers restricted, service books provided for the duration of your stay and sign up sheets on the noticeboard to book your place
  • Everyone wears a facemask (except optional for the leader)
  • We never sing anyway ...

Indoor group meetings

  • Seats well spaced out and please use the same seat each time
  • Everyone wears a facemask (but optional for the leader in consultation with the group)
  • Excellent natural ventilation in the main meeting room
  • UVC air sanitiser as standard, but can be turned off by agreement if the noise is a problem

1:1 sessions

  • Held in the largest and best-ventilated room available at the time - we will have a door/window open so wear enough to be warm
  • Presumption of wearing masks, but can be dispensed with if both parties agree that other mitigations suffice


  • UVC air sanitiser running during session
  • Lateral flow tests on the day for masseur and massagee (is that a word?)
  • Wear a mask
  • Cancel if either feel at all unwell on the day

Shared spaces (Chapel, Library, Art Shed, Guest kitchens)

  • Responsible routine hand wash/gel by everyone
  • Limit numbers according to signage to maintain distance

In your own room

  • We are no longer routinely quarantining rooms, duvets and pillows between bookings.
  • Please let us know if you want to bring your own duvet/pillow and/or if you would like us to provide quarantined ones
  • Normal high standards of Sheldon cleaning and of course freshly laundered linen
  • Your room will be clean but we are not doing sanitising. We will leave anti-viral spray and a cloth in your room in case you want to.

In case of illness

Please do not travel if you are unwell or self-isolating. If you become unwell during your stay please stay in your room and telephone us for instruction. If you are well enough to drive home we will refund 50% of the balance of your stay.