Living with Loss Retreats

(Page updated 13/8/19)

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 retreats 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.

QUICK LINKS

The Living with Loss project is a member of the National Bereavement Alliance. We hold up to 10 events a year around the UK.


2019


THE HOUSE OF THE OPEN DOOR – Cotswolds

LIVING WITH LOSS: “TEA ROOM GATHERING”

THIS EVENT IS NOW FULL

  • 20 – 23 August 2019 (Tuesday – Friday)
  • 4 day retreat in the Cotswolds.
  • Cost: £260 (£240 in shared room)

This retreat is only open to those who have already participated in a “Living with Loss” retreat. The idea of this retreat is to provide a safe space to explore the issues relating to loss that you are continuing to deal with, and an opportunity to spend time with others who are also coping with loss and the changed circumstances of their lives. This is a more relaxed event with walks, craft activities and creative writing included in the mix. Anyone interested in attending should contact Abi directly for further details or to book.

The House of the Open Door is an ecumenical Christian Community and Retreat Centre in the Cotswolds, a beautiful 17th Century property set in quiet countryside.

THE BRIERY RETREAT CENTRE – Ilkley, Yorkshire

Briery1

LIVING WITH LOSS PART 2: THE JOURNEY ONWARDS

UPDATE: THIS EVENT IS DEFINITELY GOING AHEAD, EVEN THOUGH OUR NUMBERS ARE SMALL. THERE IS ROOM FOR MORE!

  • Friday 6 – Sunday 8 September 2019
  • Weekend retreat (Friday late afternoon-Sunday afternoon)
  • Cost: £155

This retreat is only open to those who have already attended a first “Living with Loss” retreat, either at the Briery or elsewhere. During this follow up to the first retreat, we look into some of the deeper areas of grief such as anger, guilt, regret and complicated grief. There will be time in the schedule for a nice walk into Ilkley on Saturday afternoon.

The Briery Retreat and Conference Centre is in a beautiful location in Ilkley, in the Yorkshire Moors. (The Centre is run by Catholic sisters, however the retreat is a non-denominational event and Abi is not a Catholic.)

Briery brochure download
BOOKING INFORMATION FOR THE BRIERY or contact: briery@btconnect.com

WHITCHESTER CHRISTIAN CENTRE – near Hawick, Scottish Borders

Whitchester

Whitchester2

LIVING WITH LOSS FOLLOWING BEREAVEMENT

  • Tuesday 10 – Thursday 12th September 2019
  • In Hawick, in the Scottish borders just north of Carlisle.
  • Cost: £180 (residential) or £80 (non-residential)

A supportive mid-week retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection. There is space for a maximum of 16 people on this retreat. (The retreat will include 3 lunches and 2 evening meals, as it starts on Tuesday morning at 12:00 and finish on Thursday mid-afternoon.)

Whitchester Christian Centre is a peaceful 18th century property set in beautiful countryside. Facilities include an art-room, conservatory and the possibility of walks in the 2 acre landscaped grounds or beyond. Whitchester can be reached quite easily from Carlisle or Edinburgh.

Contact Whitchester Christian Centre for booking and further information: phone 01450 377477 – email – enquiries@whitchester.org.uk or website

PENHURST CHRISTIAN CENTRE – Sussex

LIVING WITH LOSS FOLLOWING BEREAVEMENT

  • 25 – 27 October 2019
  • Weekend retreat near Battle in East Sussex, England
  • Cost: £150 (non-residential) or £220 (residential)

UPDATE (13 August): There’s only 1 twin room left, but there is space for additional day guests. Don’t delay if you want a place!

A supportive weekend retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection.

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 14 guests. 

Phone: 01424 892088
Email: info@penhurst.org.uk

LEE ABBEY – Devon

LIVING WITH LIFE-CHANGING LOSS FOLLOWING BEREAVEMENT

  • Monday 4 – Friday 8 November 2019 (Note this date has been updated)
  • 5 day retreat in Exmoor, Devon
  • Cost: £225 (some discounts available)

A supportive week retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection.

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 will be housed and running the retreat in the Beacon, a separate building away from the main house. We do go to the main house for some meals.

◊ Link to this event at Lee Abbey, with booking information


2020

LAUNDE ABBEY – Leicestershire

Living with life-changing loss following bereavement

  • 17 – 21 February 2020 (Monday – Friday)
  • 5 Day retreat in the East Midlands
  • Cost: £405.00 – £425.00

Launde Abbey is a Christian Retreat House and Conference Centre in the East Midlands. Set in beautiful parkland of 450 acres on the borders of Leicestershire and Rutland, the Abbey has 39 en-suite bedrooms which can accommodate up to 78 people; full conference facilities; comprehensive dining facilities; extensive cultivated gardens and a wonderful twelfth century Chapel (part of the original Augustinian priory).

Phone: 01572 717254
Email: info@launde.org.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: £TBC

A supportive week retreat of activities, led sessions and quiet reflection, 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.

Further events in 2020 will be announced later.


bench

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?

This post from our retreat at Launde Abbey in February 2018 gives a fairly good idea.

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.

img_20171030_1624171579341773.jpg

The view from our meeting room at Lee Abbey. Spectacular!

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Candlelighting remembrance and prayer

dav

The reason for these cups becomes evident during the retreat


2019 – COMPLETED RETREATS

It is possible that any of the following retreats may be repeated in 2020, 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

  • Friday – Sunday – 18 – 20 January 2019
  • Weekend retreat in Poole, Dorset
  • LAUNDE ABBEY – Leicestershire

Living With Loss

  • 18 – 22 February 2019
  • 5 Day retreat in the East Midlands

THE BRIERY RETREAT CENTRE – Ilkley, Yorkshire

Briery1

LIVING WITH LOSS

  • Friday 22 – Sunday 24 March 2019
  • Weekend retreat (Friday late afternoon-Sunday afternoon)

WEEKEND DAY WORKSHOP – Ashtead, Surrey

  • 29 and 30 June 2019 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Non-residential 2-day workshop – starts 10:00 am, finishes 4:30 pm each day

 

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