(Page updated 23/2/20)
If you’re looking for a safe space to explore your grief in the company of others who are also grieving, then you may find it helpful to come to one of the Living with Loss Retreats that I am leading.
These are gentle events for people of all ages who have suffered loss through bereavement. The aim is to better equip us to deal with our life-changing loss. We explore some of the spiritual, emotional and practical challenges of grief, and then look at ways of making the best of our life as it is now. It is a time of solidarity amongst others who are grieving and of finding hope as we continue our life’s journey.
The retreats are suitable for adults age 18 and over, no matter how bereaved: widows and widowers, bereaved parents and siblings, those who have lost parents or close family members, or those who have suffered multiple losses. Most retreats are small with around 9 – 15 participants.
The content of each retreat follows the same theme, but differs slightly according to the duration, and the interests and needs of those who attend.
Retreats are residential, with all meals and snacks provided, plus retreat materials to take away with you. Workshops are day and weekend events.
If you are unsure whether a retreat like this is for you, then I invite you to contact me and/or keep reading below, as well as follow the links, to find out more details. If you do get in touch, I’ll be happy to call you back and tell you more about it and answer any specific questions you might have.
The Living with Loss project is a member of the National Bereavement Alliance. We hold around 10 events a year around the UK.
LEE ABBEY – Devon
LIVING WITH LOSS PART 2: THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
- Monday 20 – Friday 24 April 2020
- 5 day retreat in Exmoor, Devon
- Cost: £279
This event is almost fully booked. Please contact Lee Abbey if you’d like to attend; if it is full you may be able to put your name onto a waiting list.
We will run this event again from 19 – 23 April 2021
A supportive week retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection. Please note that this event is only open for those who have already attended a Living with Loss retreat (at Lee Abbey or elsewhere).
Lee Abbey is set on a 280 acre estate in Exmoor National Park on the West Devon coast. The estate includes woodlands, streams, fields, and a private beach. Lee Abbey is a vibrant busy place, with lots going on besides our retreat, and lots of possibilities for activities both within the context of our retreat and those that are organised by Lee Abbey.
WEEKEND WORKSHOP – Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Living with Loss – Coping with Bereavement – at Cornerstone Church, Bridlington
- Friday 29 – Sunday 31 May 2020
- Weekend workshop (Friday afternoon, Saturday morning & afternoon, Sunday afternoon – e)
- Cost: £20 – non-residential only
This is a weekend workshop with four led sessions. There will be activities, discussions and a time of remembrance. The first session is essential; other sessions are optional. Refreshments are provided, but please note you will need to arrange your own accommodation and meals over the weekend.
The workshop is being held at Cornerstone Church, St John’s Walk, Bridlington YO16 4HJ.
For bookings, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about the event, write to Abi at email@example.com
THE BRIERY RETREAT CENTRE – Ilkley, Yorkshire
Living with life-changing loss following bereavement
- Friday 12 – Sunday 14 June 2020
- Weekend retreat (Friday late afternoon-Sunday afternoon)
- Cost: £183
This is a weekend Living with Loss ‘Part 1’ retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection.
The Briery Retreat and Conference Centre is in a beautiful location in Ilkley, in the Yorkshire Moors. This is a comfortable house. We have the use of a lovely meeting room. The retreat is for a maximum of 14 people. Ilkley is within walking distance and is a nice place to look around. The retreat finishes after lunch on Sunday.
THE LIVING WITH LOSS ‘TEAROOM’ GATHERING
at Cloverley Hall in North Shropshire
- Monday 13 – Friday 17 July 2020
- Week retreat (Monday afternoon to Friday morning – 4 nights)
- Cost: £305 (early bird discount £295)
This event is only open to those who have already attended at least one Living with Loss retreat or workshop. There is a more relaxed programme than at a typical retreat. There is plenty of of time to chat and build friendships, with some interesting outings and activities too. This is a popular event.
We are running this event at Cloverley Hall in North Shropshire, an interesting Victorian property with plenty of room and facilities, set in lovely grounds with beautiful views. This rural property is midway between Whitchurch and Market Drayton.
Please note: There is now only 1 ensuite room remaining
LEE ABBEY – Devon
LIVING WITH LIFE-CHANGING LOSS FOLLOWING BEREAVEMENT
- 5-9 November 2020 (Thursday – Monday)
- 5 day retreat in Exmoor, Devon
- Cost: TBC but probably around £225 (some discounts available)
A supportive week retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection. Besides our retreat, there is an opportunity to join in some of the Lee Abbey activities including (weather permitting) crafts, zip wire and archery – if you choose.
Lee Abbey is set on a 280 acre estate in Exmoor National Park on the West Devon coast. The estate includes woodlands, streams, fields, and a private beach.
Lee Abbey is a vibrant busy place, with lots going on besides our retreat. In order to have peace and quiet, we run the retreat in the Beacon, a separate building away from the main house. We take our meals in the Beacon. There are a maximum of 14 places at the Beacon for this event, although there may be space in the Main House if you don’t mind sleeping in a separate building. Our events at Lee Abbey usually fill up quite early and we recommend booking sooner rather than later.
◊ Link to this event at Lee Abbey is not yet live – please come back later –it will eventually be here
PENHURST CHRISTIAN CENTRE – Sussex
LIVING WITH LOSS FOLLOWING BEREAVEMENT
- 25-27 November
- Weekend retreat near Battle in East Sussex, England
- Cost: TBC but probably around £150 (non-residential) or £220 (residential)
A supportive weekend retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection. This is a lovely property with a comfortable meeting room and a separate chapel. There will be a maximum of 10 participants.
Penhurst Retreat Centre is a small, friendly Christian retreat centre, situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just 10 miles from the coast in the Sussex High Weald. The beauty, peace and comfort of this place create an ideal setting to relax and reflect. This retreat will be small with a maximum of 10 guests.
Phone: 01424 892088
- Link to the 2020 event at Penhurst is not yet live; this link is for last year’s event. Please come back again later.
⇒ We are also running some Workshops at various locations around the country during 2020.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THE RETREATS
Grief following bereavement can feel overwhelming, particularly if we have lost a partner or child, or if our loved one’s passing was sudden or traumatic, or if we have suffered multiple losses. The aim of this supported retreat is to better equip us to deal with our life-changing loss. The focus of our retreats is on making the best of our life in the present. We will face up to some of the spiritual, emotional and practical challenges of our grief, and then look at ways to cope with our life as it is now.
We have 2-3 led sessions every day, depending on the duration of the retreat. These include explanations, reflection prompts, craft & creative activities, discussions, times of reflection and prayer, and listening to music or inspirational readings.
Besides the led sessions, there is time for personal reflection, handouts to work on individually, as well as the opportunity for participants to have individual prayer with retreat leaders if you wish. A selection of relevant books are made available to read during the retreat.
The topics we cover (depending on the duration of the retreat and the needs of the participants) include:
- Understanding grief, the physical, practical and emotional impact of loss, and a Christian perspective on grief.
- Living with loss, models of recovery, complicated grief, crises of faith, dealing with our emotions.
- Honouring the memories of our loved ones, reflective activities, digital legacy.
- Survival strategies for our life today, being kind to ourselves, getting through difficult times.
RETREAT FAQs – visit this link
WHAT HAPPENS AT A RETREAT?
COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS PARTICIPANTS
It wasn’t what I thought it would be – it was BETTER.
The sessions were very helpful and gave me hope.
“I thought Abi led the sessions with sensitivity and compassion. It was obvious she had ‘been there’. I liked how she shared her story.
The sessions were well researched, delivered and well paced.
This was a first class retreat which I found extremely helpful. I will definitely do part 2.
A bit of crafting – with a focus on process rather than product.
2019/2020 – COMPLETED RETREATS
It is possible that any of the following retreats may be repeated in the following year, depending on demand. So if you see a topic and/or location that you’d like to visit, drop us a line and we can add that into our decision-making about further retreats.
CHRISTIANS BEREAVED BY SUICIDE
A Living with Loss retreat at the Greenhouse Christian Centre, Poole, Dorset that took place on 18 – 20 January 2019
LAUNDE ABBEY – Leicestershire
Living With Loss week events (Monday – Friday) took place on 18 – 22 February 2019 and 17 – 21 February 2020
WEEKEND DAY WORKSHOP – Ashtead, Surrey
This workshop took place on 29-30 June 2019
‘Tea room Gathering Retreat” at THE HOUSE OF THE OPEN DOOR – Cotswolds
This retreat was held from 20 – 23 August 2019