Who can say they are not overwhelmed at this time of year by the bombardment of Christmas demands? Who can say that they would not like to take some time to step back and reflect after this busy time? At Minsteracres Retreat Centre, North East rest centre and, Christian retreat centre in Northumberland, they know everything there is to know to help you do just that. What better way to get through Christmas, then to take some time out to benefit from the peace and space at a retreat?

Minsteracres Retreat Centre is traditionally a Christian place of prayer where people come together to share the values of the resident community rooted in the Passionist tradition, and is open to lay people all year round. You can enjoy their hospitality, food and accommodation whilst there. Minsteracres historic buildings are set in a stunning 110 acre estate in the North East of England. You can choose to attend an individual or group retreat from their programme of retreats or you can be one of their team of volunteers in Northumberland.

The House itself has its origins in the 18th century when the Silvertop family, a Roman Catholic family from Stella who had gained their wealth from the coal mining industry, built a mansion and developed the estate on land bought at Minsteracres. The first section of the house was completed in the 1750’s and in 1765 they opened a Roman Catholic mission where a chaplain was appointed and a room in the house was converted into a chapel.

Within a hundred years of this, Henry Charles, a descendent of the original Silvertops built a church (1854) and added further extensions to the house. After WW1, the estate was sold as the family reduced in size. The new owners of most of the original estate were the Passionist congregation who converted the mansion into a monastery with space for 35 priests and brothers. The retreat centre was established is the 1960s.

With such a long heritage of association with Christianity, prayer and devotion, Minsteracres is a perfect environment in Northumberland were you can take time out for spiritual growth. The tranquillity of the estate lends itself to the various retreats available throughout the year for example Walking Retreats which are a day of walking seven to ten miles through the beautiful country side around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and the sharing of the beauty of creation. And Life in the Psalms days where time is taken to explore the meaning in ancient texts of the psalms which can be re-imagined so that they speak to our contemporary secular world.

So whether you are planning spend time in contemplation after Christmas in the company of those at Minsteracres, or are planning to book a retreat alone or in a group in the next year, you will find the space, solace and welcome you desire. And you can gain added fulfilment by volunteering at Minsteracres, as volunteers are the mainstay of what they do, especially in the dining room, on the estate and with weekend hospitality volunteers.  There is a core group of around 70 longstanding volunteers and you could be most welcome to join them to become part of the vibrant community at Minsteracres Christian Retreat in the North East. For more information please visit www.minsteracres.org.