Our retreats


Minsteracres welcomes THS

For the past six months Minsteracres has played host to a special group of gardeners. Tynedale Horticultural Service (THS) was set up by Northumberland County Council 24 years ago to provide training and work experience in horticulture for adults with learning disabilities. Last summer the team had to leave their long-term home at Ridley Hall Full Story

Not without surprises

Visitors to Minsteracres may already have met Fr Frank Trias, on loan to us from the Passionist Province of St Patrick. As a recent addition to the community, and indeed to the priesthood (he was ordained in 2015), Fr Frank brings a wealth of new experience for us to draw on. He arrived from his Full Story

A sacred journey

Our theme for this year means that all our retreat participants are invited to go on a sacred journey, which we hope will be enlightening, invigorating and meaningful for all. The retreat team has been out and about these last few months gathering materials, guide books and doing the necessary reccies. Along the way we Full Story


Fundraising for our future

We’ve been spending some time in recent months looking closely at how we can secure the future of Minsteracres for generations to come. So many parishioners, retreatants, volunteers and visitors already give generously to us and we work hard to ensure that every penny we receive is spent wisely and with consideration, but we want Full Story

Paint me a picture

Can you describe a typical volunteer? Are they male, female, young or old? Are they brunette, blonde or even follicly challenged? Are they tall, short, jolly or serious? Do they live close by or far away, do they come to Minsteracres weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually? Do they live alone or with family, do they Full Story

Easter journey

As you read these words, Spring has hopefully arrived after the long winter. During Spring we welcome new life and growth. In the Christian tradition it connects with Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. In the gospels we don’t hear anything about the resurrection itself. We only find stories about Full Story


My new kneeler

That’s it, now I know I am old! I have just bought one of those kneelers that help you do the weeding. I do find it hard to bend and the kneeler means I can creak down to the earth and heave myself up again without the aid of a crane. I can also sit Full Story

Gardening as therapy

Any of the regular visitors to the Peace Garden at Minsteracres will tell you how transformational their time there can be. For two in particular, the difference it makes for them is profound. Bryan Green and Ray Warner have both retired from the armed services and each has suffered enduring mental health problems as a Full Story

A regular boost

We launched our regular giving scheme recently to help us secure the future of the retreat centre with a regular, reliable income stream. So far, more than a dozen retreatants, parishioners, volunteers and trustees have signed up and pledged between them around £1,400 per year. We hope this steady flow will increase as more people Full Story


Passionately protecting

Sitting as it does in 110 acres, the estate at Minsteracres takes some managing. Over the last few years conservation consultant Andrew Pennington and his small band of conservation volunteers (nicknamed the volcons, with a nod to Star Trek) have made quite an impact. The volcons and visiting groups of volunteers take on the hard Full Story