*** DEBUG END ***

Travel and retreats: Going green

30 January 2015

Alison MacTier suggests some eco-friendly retreats

Renewable energy sources: Hacienda Los Olivos is a carbon-neutral centre

Renewable energy sources: Hacienda Los Olivos is a carbon-neutral centre

Retreat houses

WOODBROOKE Quaker Study Centre, in Birmingham, encourages a programme of sustainability which is rooted in Quaker values of simplicity and care of the earth. A culture of energy efficiency, recycling, and supporting overseas projects that help to sustain communities is encouraged.

The centre has a community-based staff and volunteer team, and the core of its work is through education.

Holland House, in Worcestershire, describes itself as a retreat centre "in harmony with creation", which includes the use of fresh, local organic products in the kitchen, and ensuring that the centre's land is a protected environment.

The Sheldon Community, in Devon, has a holistic approach to the environment and the 45 acres of land that it occupies. A commitment to sustainability includes buildings designed to run on efficient energy sources, such as solar hot water, underfloor heating, and low-energy light bulbs. Guests can enjoy woodland and field walks, sustained partly through the help of volunteers.

Ffald-y-Brenin Christian Retreat Centre, in Pembrokeshire, has won many awards for its contribution to ecology, including planting a wood and maintaining a wildflower meadow. Hilfield Friary, in Dorset, also has an ancient wildflower meadow, and an organic kitchen garden.

Hacienda Los Olivos, in Andalucia, is a carbon-neutral centre, generating all its heating and power from renewable energy sources. Central to its vision is a clear commitment to green issues which combines careful environmental management with minimal ecological impact.

Green retreats

IF YOU are looking for a retreat focusing on green issues this year, Ringsfield Hall, in Suffolk, is planning a "Green Christian Gathering", 29-31 May; Minsteracres Retreat Centre, Co. Durham, is organising a "Big Green Sunday" on 31 August; Wistaston Hall, Cheshire, is holding an Ecology Retreat, 9-11 October. Other centres offering regular "green" events include the Rosmini Centre, Leicestershire; the Fellowship of St Ethelwold, Oxfordshire; and Elsie Briggs House of Prayer, Bristol.

Alison MacTier is executive director of the Retreat Association. For more information on any of these centres, contact the Retreat Association: phone 01494 569056; email info@retreats.org.uk; or visit the website www.retreats.org.uk.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)