Refresh, Renew, Retreat

A real treat
Ministries by Design

I was lucky enough to be selected from many applicants to experience a preview retreat by Ministries by Design at The Vine @ Mays Farm.

This is a brand new (very old) 17th Century Farmhouse is set in the Cotswold countryside and provides space and sanctuary for those wanting retreats, quiet days, spiritual direction or just time with God.

As a preview guest I was warned that there was still building work going on and it may be a bit of 'glamping'. Well I was in for a shock, this was my room when I arrived:
Not exactly the 'glamping' I had in mind, I've stayed in worse fully completed hotels!

This was a wonderful room with a lovely en-suite and a large window, complete with window seat, overlooking the garden to the front.

Lunch & dinner were taken in the large and welcoming kitchen, where we all shared and chipped in like one big family. Breakfast however, was a real treat, served on a tray in my room. This was a wonderful time for me of quiet, bringing my day before the Lord and asking him to guide my retreat time.

There are wonderful walks around and I was lucky enough to accompany Penelope on a couple of lovely walks and my next retreat at The Vine will be one of the walking retreats.

The preview retreat meant that guests were there to help with decorating, gardening and getting the house ready and this only enhanced my stay. I painted a huge walk in cupboard where I lost myself in the worship that I listened to on my phone. Singing loudly and out of tune, much to the amusement of the various builders wandering around. I would normally be worried about what people were thinking but the whole house is so full of God's spirit that I felt free and just wanted to praise him. (Tweet this)

On the last day, I was in no hurry to get going so I packed up my car but was welcomed to stay on until after lunch and enjoy the glorious weather and the gardens. I was the only guest left and this was such a precious time as I lay in the sun in the hammock and chatted with God about how I took some of this peace and beauty home.

I spent this quiet time in the garden guided by God (and Penelope's book 'Women by Design') and organised my days, my prayer diary and the next steps in the new ministry I was in the midst of launching.

This retreat was a blessing and the start of something new with God which I would never have had the time to do without it. At times when I am seeking God I am often transported, in my mind, back to that house and garden where his presence was so evident.

Find out more about Ministries by Design and the retreats and quiet days on offer


  1. Wonderful! Love the image of you singing freely.

    1. In a cupboard!! Those poor builders.. mind you they soon realised worship is not just hymns I was going for it with Soul Survivor album :) Can highly recommend it - the retreat - not the singing in the cupboard!

  2. How wonderful Tania :) so pleased you had a blessed time away.