We sometimes forget how powerful someone’ first experience of Minsteracres can be. Long-standing volunteer Ase Smith who regularly comes on retreat, recently brought a friend with her. This is what her friend Eileen said of her stay: “I have just returned from a lovely weekend at your beautiful retreat house.

As I had recently lost my husband, I was extremely anxious as to how I would fit in, but my friend Ase said not to worry all would be fine. It was the first time in 30 years that I had gone away on my own, but I have to say I had the most warm welcome from all the people I came in contact with.

It was for me a weepy weekend, but they say tears are healing, so I hope that peace I am searching for will come eventually. I was in the Poustinia and it was lovely to be so near the Blessed Sacrament in the little Oratory, even in the middle of the night. It’s an experience I would love to have again.

The grounds were lovely, and as for the food, it was out of this world. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the talks and the prayer time was excellent, just the right balance for me.”