Circuit Retreat

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Circuit Retreat 2020

(Report by Barbara Drayton)

A group of 18 travellers from the North Lancashire Circuit are now settling back into usual routines, after their annual "Feeding", otherwise known as the Circuit Retreat.

I use the word "feeding" for two reasons. Firstly, it is because Thornleigh Christian Hotel, on the Promenade at Grange-Over-Sands is well noted for its delicious and beautifully presented food.....three meals a day, with tea, coffee or hot chocolate in between.

More seriously, though, is the fact that we are fed spiritually, through our studies, our Bible readings and time to reflect and discuss. The atmosphere is relaxed, with complete freedom to join in as much or little of the programme as the individual wishes.

Each day began and ended with short devotions.

This year, the studies were based on a series called "Experiencing God".

We read Bible passages about characters who had experienced God in different ways, thought about occasions when we had felt especially close to God and also about ways in which we could encourage other people in daily life.

The week is not all serious study, however, but intended to be a holiday as well.

On the first night we watched the film, Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage, which gives plenty to think about. Edith had brought the jigsaw of The Cottage, which kept us busy all week and we still didn't manage to fit in all the 1000 pieces.

On the second night we had a quiz, or several, to be precise. That brought much hilarity and showed our competitive spirits!

The middle day, following our devotions, was a free day to explore the beauty of Cumbria or just to relax in the hotel. A surprise awaited us in the evening.... a concert by 5 harpists from Harps North West. Most of us didn't know of the existence of such a group, but what a wonderful sound, so different from the music that most of us are used to.

Thursday gave us some free time in the afternoon. It was amazing how many of us met in Cartmel Abbey! In the evening we tried our skills at board games, some of us making up our own rules if we didn't fully understand the real rules!

On Friday morning we held a service, incorporating hymn requests and with volunteers offering readings or prayers. After lunch we bade farewell to each other, to return to our daily lives, but so enriched by our week's experience.

We say a big thank you to Edith for her fantastic organisation, and to all those who helped to make the week so enjoyable and memorable.

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