News Archives


Therapy in action

Our Peace Garden is a very special space much loved by everyone who uses it. Volunteer Eileen Ewen has been involved with it since before anything was planted and it was just an idea in the head of community member Lya Vollering, the driving force behind the project. As a volunteer with Let’s Get Growing’s Full Story

Life’s box of chocs

Forrest Gump’s Mamma said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what you are going to get.’ Well, I always thought that was kinda cute, but untrue.  After all, the box usually includes a list giving you the content of each chocolate. But I agree life itself is a Woolworth’s pic ‘n’ Full Story

Reunited at the cross

We were delighted to welcome Bob and Janice English and their friend Mike when they came to visit recently. Bob’s contribution to our Cross of Hope was crucial in getting the project quite literally off the ground. The design was Minsteracres community member Lya Vollering’s, but getting it from paper to the beautiful glass and Full Story


Salt and light at Minsteracres

Each year new groups find their way to Minsteracres and this year has been no exception. One such this Autumn came from right on our doorstep thanks to retreat organiser Michael Ivey and his wife Kate. Michael, a six foot something Texan, may not be what you would imagine as local, but his wife Kate Full Story

Seeds of Hope

The year of mercy has ended and the holy doors of mercy have been closed. This year we welcomed many people who entered through our doors. These also became doors of mercy, as people received and shared love, compassion and mercy here. Although the holy doors have been closed, the space of mercy is still Full Story

Caring kin

For a great many people becoming a grandparent is one of life’s pleasures. The ties that bind children to their parent’s parents are supportive ones and the relationships they share are often warm and playful in a way that is different from a parent’s. Imagine, though, if circumstances force you to become the principal carer Full Story


Practical learning for NCD students

What do Beamish museum, Winlaton rugby club and Minsteracres have in common? They have all received a makeover at the hands of students from New College Durham. In the case of Minsteracres, tutor Iain MCartney is back with a group of first and second year students learning the finer points of painting and decorating, and Full Story

Tony’s clean sweep

Meet Tony Donaghy, our housekeeping team’s first regular volunteer. This year has been a very busy one for us at Minsteracres and at times the housekeeping team has been hard pressed to keep up with the work that having two houses full of visitors demands. To give them a hand we put out an SOS Full Story

Sage volunteers make an impression

Minsteracres has been the very grateful recipient of the generosity of the Sage Foundation several times recently. Employees of Sage can use up to five day’s work time a year doing voluntary work in their communities, and our shrubbery has found its way onto their volunteering map. Most recently visitors included a long term volunteer Full Story


In praise of soup

Autumn is in the air, the leaves are beginning to fall and it’s a brilliant time to be in the Peace Garden. We are harvesting lots of splendid food: onions, cabbage, courgettes (oh they keep coming!), beetroot and beans to name a few. So as the weather cools it’s a great opportunity to use these Full Story