Our retreats

Fifty years of volunteers

Some of our volunteers have a very long pedigree. Parishioner Frank McDonald first came to Minsteracres as an apprentice joiner when he was 15 to help on the conversion of the old stables block into the new retreat house. “I came with my Uncle Lawrence, also a joiner, who was something of a leading light Full Story

A Spring makeover

Jezebel, widely known as a tempestuous scarecrow, is a rather peeved. Her friend Tatiana is showing off  her new outfit and hairstyle from Corbridge. She is winning many admiring glances from visitors to the Peace Garden. Jezebel admits to feeling a tad jealous. The tractor driver who gave them a lift to the shops and Full Story

Forging friendships while they work

We must be doing something right here at Minsteracres because another of this year’s summer volunteers is returning for a second time. Arek Galka and his colleague Tomek Nalecz, both training to become priests, are on loan to Minsteracres from their Passionist monastery in Poland. Arek, now four years into his seven years training, first came Full Story

A day of hope

July 9th is a special day in the Passionist calender. It is the feast day of Our Lady of Holy Hope and this year it was celebrated in style at Minsteracres with Bishop Seamus blessing the new Monastery of Our Lady of Holy Hope. Visitors to Minsteracres over the past year or so have watched Full Story

Hungary? Bernadett fills the gap!

Summer is a great time to be at Minsteracres. It’s not just that we’re very busy, but we also have the pleasure of welcoming volunteers who join us for several weeks or even months to help us cope with the extra workload. Returning for a second year is Bernadett Csokay, a Hungarian high school student. Full Story

New role in hospitality

Sister Therese’s departure last autumn left a gap at Minsteracres. We miss her enthusiasm and big personality, but she also made a significant practical contribution to life here as the person responsible for hospitality. Without becoming a permanent member of the community it would be impossible to replicate Sister Therese’s role, but we have made Full Story

50 years of shelter and support

This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of our retreat house. That it opened then at all, however, was a small miracle! The Passionists had arrived at Minsteracres in 1951 intending to convert the old stables to a retreat house straight away, whilst also turning the main house into a house Full Story

Mother of Holy Hope

During the past year visitors to Minsteracres will have witnessed a lot of building activity along the drive. The old workshop near the youth centre has been demolished and on its site something new has been built. It looks like a bungalow. In reality it is a small monastery which has become the home of Full Story

 Many hands make light work

Now that summer has returned, our environmental consultant Andrew Pennington and his band of conservation volunteers are in full swing maintaining our 110 acre estate. Although one member down (Rob Lee left us in May to move to Cumbria), we have been delighted welcome two other volunteers back to the team. Johnnie Coyne has returned Full Story

Challenging and satisfying icon retreat

The six participants of this year’s icon painting retreat have just had their icons blessed in the chapel at Minsteracres and their excitement is evident. Maureen Rimmer introduced icon writing to our programme seven years ago, and it has proved enduringly popular. “Icons are an aid to prayer,” explains Maureen, “There’s a stillness about them Full Story