We’ve updated our Group Booking Pack to include new photos and our latest prices, and to show off our new ‘look’ – what do you think? We’ve also put together a useful pack of information and inspiration to help people who are planning a church holiday. If this is you, or someone you know, check out the page with all the details. We hope you find it helpful! We’re looking forward to a summer filled with churches and other groups joining us, and we’re hoping to welcome some new groups soon, too. If you haven’t been to the Centre before, or haven’t been for a while, consider having a look at what we’re offering: our facilities are much improved (all rooms are ensuite, we have two state-of-the-art disabled-access rooms, and our food is top-quality), and our team are really committed to providing you with great service. We’re getting great feedback from groups who’ve been with us lately – and who are booking to come again next year! We’ll do everything we can to help make the planning easier for you – we can suggest trips and activities, and organise Bible studies or other content for your group.
You can download the Group Booking Pack by clicking on the button below, and you can find the new planner guide and all the other information on our brand new “Church Holidays” page here: http://windermere.urc.org.uk/church-holidays/
At the heart of the Windermere Centre’s mission statement is our intention to be ‘resourcing the United Reformed Church through hospitality and theological adventure’. In order to work out how best to do that, we want to hear from you!
This is your chance to tell us exactly what courses would be most useful to you personally and to your church. All you have to do is complete our short survey. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete, and all feedback will be anonymous. We’re currently planning our Programme of Events 2013-14, which will come out at the beginning of July and will include courses from September 2013 to September 2014, so now is the time to let us know exactly what you want!
You can find the survey here - and please share it with your friends, too!
We’re going to be asking for more feedback from all of you, so if you’d like to take part in future surveys and research, please be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you haven’t already – that way you’ll get our monthly newsletters right into your inbox. You can subscribe to our mailing list here.
We hope you enjoy this chance to tell us what you want from the Centre – after all, it’s your place!
We’ve had a pretty busy year so far! From filming music videos to making art based on readings of Biblical texts to cooking up new delicious treats for our menu, our guests, staff and course leaders have been getting very creative in the first quarter of 2013 – ooh, and we got a brand new 3DTV in our Stephen Thornton room, too. We also had a sad end to an era, as Peter Farrand led his last walking course for the Centre ahead of his retirement from the role; the Winter Peaks week was a very snowy one (we’ve had a few of those lately!), and the course participants celebrated by making snowmen, amongst other things. Peter was presented with vouchers on behalf of the Centre’s staff, and will continue to be part of the life of the Centre both as a member of the Management Committee and as an occasional volunteer host. Nick Andrews is taking over leading our walking courses, and is already planning a brand new ‘Walking in Spring’ course for 2014 – watch this space!
It’s Easter, but not as you know it
The Centre has been privileged to be part of a special online Easter service organised by The Big Bible Project. The service is being broadcast on Easter Sunday from 2pm, and includes a sermon by Rowan Williams – and a meditation on John 20:1-18 by our very own Lawrence Moore, as well as songs, readings and prayers from many other contributors. It’s pretty exciting to see how church adapts to the digital age (we’re so interested in that idea, we’ve a whole strand of courses in our Programme about it!), and the Online Praise Easter 2013 service has been a great chance for us to be part of something new and stimulating.
You can access the service from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection – just head over to the website: http://onlinepraise.wordpress.com – and you can follow the #easter13 hashtag on Twitter, too, to find out more. Hope you enjoy the service – we’d love to hear your thoughts!
The following news item from Wessex Synod has come to our attention:
For the third successive year, on 3rd March, St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Walton on Thames mounted a comprehensive display of Zimbabwean crafts at Southwark Cathedral. Fashioned by Artpeace sculptors and Skills Dept based at Silveira House, Harare, their beautiful art attracted much interest. Sub-Dean & Canon Pastor Bruce Saunders thanked St Andrew’s ‘for adding such an important ingredient to their celebrationthe titled The Great Masvingo Feast – a large fund raising event to support the diocese of Masvingo. The guest of honour was Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi the first Anglican Bishop of Masvingo. Three years ago, whilst attending a meeting at The URC Windermere Centre, The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, Dean of Southwark Cathedral was interested in one of St Andrew’s flyers by the display of Zimbabwean crafts. The relationship has strengthened ever since. Andrew said ‘We love having St Andrew’s involved and it was great to know that the £826 raised through the sale of sculptures will be with the artists within a few days’. Talks are now under way to look at the possibility of selling the artists’ work in the Cathedral Shop. All the impoverished artists and their extended families are thrilled to hear of this exciting development in the oldest Cathedral in England.
We’re delighted to have been part of making those connections, which have proved so fruitful for all concerned – what great news! For more information about the Artpeace project, you can visit the ‘World Church: Zimbabwean Artists’ page on the Wessex Synod website, and of course you can view and purchase some of the artists’ work when you next visit the Centre! If you’re interested to see more pictures from ‘The Great Masvingo Feast’ event at Southwark Cathedral, you could check out their Flickr stream.
In recent years, there has been a growing community of iChurch webmasters who have been working with us on their websites. We have now moved to bring them together to share their tips, ideas and thoughts in a support forum.
The forum is designed to be a place of learning, sharing and fellowship between the people who are running iChurch websites, and forms the core of the brand new iChurch support site, where webmasters are able to get instructions, inspiration and advice from Lawrence, Rebecca and Andy (the iChurch team) as well as from each other.
We’re excited to be part of this fertile, lively community, and look forward to sharing knowledge and fun with the other webmasters as well as learning from them.
If you don’t yet have an iChurch site, you can find out more at http://ichurch.urc.org.uk. We’re passionate about making it easy and affordable for churches to have useful, interesting websites, and are working hard at developing the iChurch project. To find out more about why, you could begin by visiting Lawrence’s explanation of why he believes church websites are important.
Wow, what a week! On a weekend in early February 2013, Stephen Brown and Carol Anne Parker, otherwise known collectively as musical duo Thursday’s Child, came to the Windermere Centre, as did Kevin and Nadene Snyman, in their capacity as ‘TDOSouth FFilms“, to work together on the creation of an original music video. Various Centre staff – and even guests – were involved in the project in various ways (you might spot a few in the film!), and the weekend itself was a joyous time of collaboration, creativity and generosity. The taxing filming schedule included late-night filming in some of the Centre’s bedrooms; an absolutely freezing, but very beautiful, time shooting in the very early morning light down by Lake Windermere; and even building a roadblock in the mud on a farm owned by one of the members of the local URC congregation!
We hope you enjoy the results: please share the video as widely as you can – and leave a comment below to let us know what you think, too – and if you’d like to find out more about Thursday’s Child you can visit their website here!
All Cumbrian churches are invited to get involved with the Centre through a FREE event we are offering!
It is the Centre’s mission to resource the church, and this February we’ve decided to do that by offering a free ‘taster’ course to all of the Cumbria area. The course itself, ‘Finding Your Voice’, is run by our Head of Operational Services, Andrew Wood, and is designed to help you learn skills and confidence for participating in worship – such as leading worship and reading Bible passages and prayers.
As an added extra, course participants will be treated to an EXCLUSIVE live concert performance by Thursday’s Child, a musical duo comprising of two Scottish ministers, who believe that their music is a key part of their ministry. You can find out more about Thursday’s Child by visiting their website: http://thursdayschild.org.uk/wordpress/
The course is on Saturday 9th February 2013, and will run from 9.30am to 5pm (including the concert in the afternoon). Lunch is available from the Centre at a cost of £9 per person, though booking is essential for this as places for lunch are limited. Otherwise, you can bring a packed lunch with you!
The event is completely free: to book your place, please contact our office on 015394 44902, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout December, the Centre are offering Christmas dining for groups. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to hold your workplace or community group’s Christmas party, or if you just want to get together with family & friends (but would rather not have to do all that cooking and cleaning etc!), the Centre can provide you with a restaurant quality meal, with festive trimmings and a warm, friendly atmosphere. We can also help arrange and book other activities for you, if you’re planning on making a day of it!
There are several meal options available, ranging from a full Chrismas banquet to a light afternoon tea (please see the menu for details), and the timing is up to you: you could come for lunch, tea or an evening meal – just get in touch to discuss your requirements. Accommodation is also available if required.
To find out more, just download our menu below!
And it’s good news!
We have now extended the opportunity to join us as a VIP guest from the 15th (was the 16th) to the 19th of October (standard accommodation is available on the 14th). As a member of the URC (or a friend of a member) you qualify for the special rate of £50 per person per night for dinner, bed & breakfast (rather than our usual price of £54pppn), and during this week all our VIPs will be treated to an excellent, tailor-made menu for dinner, our very best service, and those little extra treats, such as bucks fizz on arrival and chocolates in your room, that are sure to make any guest feel extra special.
If you, or someone you know, are in need of a treat, please consider joining us for this brand new venture and let us do our very best to look after you.