Retreat Day 6th September, 2014

‘Strength for today; hope for tomorrow’

Firm Roots Retreat Day at Trinity College, Bristol

6 September, 2014

We were delighted to return to Trinity Theological College for our third South West Retreat Day. Twenty one people from different denominations, came together for a day of prayer, reflection and encouragement. Four people even joined the day from the Midlands! Everyone was affected by cancer either themselves or by supporting someone through it.

The day was led by Helen Jones and Andy Hunter from Firm Roots Cancer Support, with Rev Ian Jones concluding the day with holy communion.

The theme was ‘Living Water in the Desert’ and we thought about a cancer journey being similar to walking through a desert – often it is a place of danger, barrenness and fear – but that Christ himself is the living water who fills us, refreshes and sustains us.

The day consisted of talks, workshops, worship, music and quiet time to be alone with God. One highlight was a ‘share and prayer time’, where people shared verses from the Bible which had encouraged them, and told a little of their own story about how God had helped them through their cancer experience.

We had a wonderful creative writing workshop run by Tracey Wheeler, where people were encouraged to express their feelings through words and were given some tips on how to start a journal. The worship for the day was kindly provided by Trinity College students - Gary Kennaugh and Adam and Jess Tams whose beautiful music brought a calm sense of God’s presence.

The food throughout the day was delicious, and as with all Firm Roots events, there was an abundance of cake! There was no cost for anyone attending the retreat day, as funding had kindly been provided via grants from Macmillan Cancer Support and the Pink Ribbon Foundation.

The feedback about the retreat day was excellent and people had clearly been encouraged and refreshed. Here are some comments from the feedback sheets of people who had attended:

“A fantastic day of like-minded people getting together with a common aim.”

“Thank you – this retreat is a real high point in the year for me. Even though my cancer was six years ago, the opportunity to talk is very healing.”

“Thank you Macmillan for funding the day – this was the best medicine I’ve had so far and has encouraged me whatever I’ll be going through in future weeks.”

“I enjoyed being with people who had a similar experience to me and being able to be open and honest about my difficulties with living with cancer. I also enjoyed being able to laugh and share fellowship, as well as the times of silence.”

“I pray this is just the beginning. The emotional and spiritual support is so beneficial to everyone.”

At the end of the Retreat Day, Andy and Helen met with two couples from Birmingham to talk about setting up a branch of Firm Roots there. A new Birmingham Cancer Prayer Support Group is now being planned, so watch this space for further details!

Firm Roots plans to run further retreat days in 2015, so please contact Helen Jones on 01704 897920 or email firmrootscancersupport@hotmail.co.uk to book or for further information. If your church/retreat centre/ministry team could host or help with a Firm Roots Retreat Day at a different venue around the country, please get in touch. Thank you!