The Venues Collection is proud to host lots of conferences and retreats for all types of faith. We work with many groups to help bring their events to life, but don’t just take our word for it! Earlier this year, Sarah* held a retreat at Yarnfield Park for her Christian church group, we spoke to her about her experience and what the event entailed.
“Before lockdown we would hold a retreat each year because it’s a lovely way to bring our community together, for them to relax and connect with each other and to have some fun. The pandemic meant that we hadn’t been able to hold one for a while so everyone was really looking forward to attending this year and we had higher than usual numbers signing up!
“We started to plan the retreat last year – to give us plenty of time to organise everything and to bring lots of people into the organising team. The focus of our retreat was simply to bring everyone together again, to ensure everyone felt included and that new members felt welcomed into our church. We needed a venue that would allow us to ‘take it over’ and have exclusive use – because we wanted everyone to feel comfortable and at home and not worry about being with people outside of our group.
“We chose Yarnfield Park because we could take over the whole venue, it was easy for everyone to get to and had free parking onsite for everyone too. We did arrange some car shares to minimise the number of cars traveling to the retreat to help with our sustainability goals. Yarnfield Park has so many great spaces – indoors and out which meant that we could really spread out and have multiple activities going on at the same time. It was also a great price – we opted for the 24-hour delegate rate which meant that all meals were included, and our group really loved not having to cook!
“We liked the fact that the venue has a very large communal dining space – eating together is very important to us and it’s a key part of our retreats. Many of our group are vegan or vegetarian and the array of food was amazing – I’m not vegetarian myself but I did have quite a few veggie meals that weekend simply because they looked so tempting!
“We also liked that they have a dedicated prayer room, and we also set up a quiet room for people to use if they felt overwhelmed by the event. For many of our group, it was the first time they’d been away from home since before lockdown, so using the quite space really helped them to feel grounded and secure again.
“We held the event in the Springtime which meant that good weather wasn’t guaranteed, so we planned indoor activities as a contingency to bad weather and we also brought lots of games and activities that could be played inside or out. The weather did hold, and so we spent a lot of time outside – our mix and mingle event (for our newcomers to meet everyone) was held outside and we ate outside a few times too. We also encouraged everyone to use the walking route around the grounds too – which everyone really enjoyed and built up an appetite for an amazing dinner!
“We worked with the venue in advance to ensure that families were placed in rooms next door to each other – this worked really well and ensured everyone was happy and comfortable.
“We held a ‘getting to know you’ quiz on the first night and having a projector and microphone in the room and ready to go was very helpful and made setting up the event very easy.
“All of the staff that we worked with – either in the run up to the event and also whilst we were there were very warm and friendly. They were attentive without being intrusive and we felt very much at home and that we had created a real ‘home from home’ for our group. Everyone very quickly settled into the weekend and enjoyed it immensely.
We are delighted that Sarah and her group enjoyed their retreat at Yarnfield Park. Please speak to our team so that we can help you to plan your next retreat: firstname.lastname@example.org
*name changed to respect her privacy.Go back to other articles