We are always looking for ways to attract more people to Minsteracres and tell them about the range of things we do here.
We have made great strides improving our publications and our website has changed considerably in recent years so that it’s much easier to find information about events and to book. Our Facebook and Twitter accounts are full of interesting snippets too.
All of these developments are a great help in raising our profile, but nothing matches the power of personal recommendation. And it seems that lots of our friends are doing just that on our behalf.
Pauline Simpson has been coming on retreat here for years and has brought successive generations of her family with her – so much so her 17 year old grandson calls it coming home!


Pauline regularly puts up posters in her local church, St Marys and St Wilfrid’s in Bishop Auckland, and chivvies friends and fellow parishioners to come along with her to events. Recently she has added her local paper to her hit list, and we hope to see stories appearing there soon.
Maureen Gwilliam became a volunteer at Minsteracres last year and has been energetically promoting us around her home town of Barnard Castle. She calls herself a special ambassador! As an approved pastoral assistant for St Paul’s at Evenwood, St Mary’s in Cockfield and St John the Baptist in Lynesack she has been offering to give talks to parish groups. She’s also using the resource centre in Brandon and even the chip shop in Middleton in Teesdale to post information about us.
“If you’re really enthusiastic it’s not a hardship,” she tells us. “Because I’m doing this I’ve met lots of people networking. I love it.”
Lorraine Clark heard our plea to help us promote events when she came to the volunteers’ meeting in March. She took an armful of programmes and brochures and has been spreading the word around her home in Norton.
“What we’re seeing is a passionate group of people each doing what they feel able to in order to promote Minsteracres,” explains Nuala O’Brien, marketing and communications manager. “We know not everyone feels able to get up and talk to groups, but just taking posters with them to put up in their communities is a huge help.
“Quite a few volunteers came to our open house and chatted to visitors about what they loved about coming here and people told us how impressed they’d been by what they heard. We hope they visitors will come back and try us out for themselves.”
Getting to the heart of it!