THERE are a variety of Christian communities around the country
that offer holidays and retreats for families during 2014.
The Othona Community has two centres. One is situated in west
Dorset, within walking distance of the beach and coastal walks
(othona-bb.org.uk). It has a creative half-term break in February,
and a mini-festival of dance at Easter, with family-friendly rooms,
and tents available for camping in the summer.
The centre at Bradwell-on-Sea (othona-bradwell.org.uk) has a
variety of family weeks, including a bargain break in May, and a
week focusing on "All the fun of the fair" in August, with craft
activities for all ages.
The Quaker Community at Bamford, Derbyshire
(quaker-community.org.uk) offers a spring gathering at Eastertide,
The Scargill Community (scargillmovement.org) is set in the
heart of the Yorkshire Dales, with extensive grounds and a games
room, offering family fun weeks throughout the year during school
In 2014, these include an Easter house-party, with a youth and
children's programme. In August, "Summerfest" has a programme that
includes a broad mix of activities for all ages. As well as the
variety of rooms available at Scargill, camping is also welcomed
during the festival.
Some retreat centres, including the Chemin Neuf Community, in
Somerset (chemin-neuf.org.uk), offer a summer school for
The Chemin Neuf Community also offers a weekend for married
couples in July, when children can take part in their own programme
of activities, adapted to their age and particular needs.
Worth Abbey, in West Sussex (worthabbey.net), offers a summer
activity week for teenagers, as well as weekends during the year
offering young people the opportunity to explore faith and build
St Cassian's Centre, in Berkshire (www.kintbury.org), offers
families weekends away four times a year. As well as parents and
children, grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends, teachers, and
others involved with young people are welcome to participate in a
weekend where many find new inspiration through the shared
Teachers or school chaplainsmay also be interested in taking a
school group to St Cassian's Centre, which each year offers
four-day term-time retreats to more than 2000 young people aged 15
to 18. The Othona Community in Bradwell-on-Sea offers facilities
for visiting school, church, and youth groups.
Cost is often a huge consideration for families and schools, and
most retreat centres offer a lower rate for children, and children
under school age may go free. Many retreat centres also offer
bursaries. For further information, check with the centre
Alison McTier is the executive director of the Retreat
More information about retreat centres, and retreats for all
ages, can be found on the Retreat Association website:
www.retreats.org.uk; or phone 01494 569056.