As National Events Secretary, I was beginning to think that I’d reached half way through my time on Executive without even organising an event that actually took place. But then the Women in Fellowship Retreat 2020 happened. After one postponement from March, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hothorpe Hall were able to run this event; they are classed as a hotel, had numerous procedures in place to be “A Safe Venue” and as such could accommodate a group up to 30 people, in a bubble!
I still can’t quite believe that I drove for nearly 2 hours down motorways, have been away from home for 36 hours, stayed at Hothorpe Hall, been with a group of other members, attended 4 church services and have taken part in a very, very special pilgrimage. A huge thanks must go to the venue of course, who made us feel very safe and our event was not hampered by the measures we needed to adhere to. We did need our face coverings at times, we were socially distanced, our chairs had our name labels, the restaurant functioned in a different way to other years yet these were all readily accepted, as members were just so pleased to be at the Retreat.
24 people took part, and were guided by our excellent leader, Rev Mieke Gaynor. Thought provoking sessions, and due to the events of this last six months at an emotional time. Mieke expertly guided us, encouraged us and helped us through our time together. Sunny weather, dry days, glorious countryside around us, interesting gardens and trees, and even a bridge where Pooh sticks was played by one small group – it all turned out to be an excellent combination.
There were many memorable moments, some very moving indeed, as spiritual refreshment, fellowship and support was shared. Standing together, yet socially distanced, when our rucksacks were blessed was one such moment.
Here is some feedback and quotes from delegates to summarise our experience together:
For members – Please follow the link to the events reports to read more of these.
“You created for us all an oasis of calm, refreshment, friendship and thoughtfulness this week at Hothorpe. It was so, so special. “ Deryn, East Cheshire
“ It was wonderful to get away and enjoy each other’ s company, even if at a distance and at times with face coverings. I should have been going to Spain to walk some of the Camino, but Covid has prevented that from happening, so it was wonderful to be able to have a mini pilgrimage on the retreat.” Jackie, Scattered member
by Ann Constable, September 2020