Retreat Day 11th October, 2014

‘Strength for today; hope for tomorrow’

Firm Roots Retreat Day at Don Orione Centre, Roby Mill, Lancashire

11 October, 2014

We were delighted to run our first North West Retreat Day at the beautiful location of the Don Orione Centre near Up Holland, Lancashire. Nineteen people from different denominations, came together for a day of prayer, reflection and encouragement. Everyone was affected by cancer either themselves or by supporting someone through it.

The group was welcomed by Father Stephen Beale and Brother Chinnappa, whose warm hospitality and constant attentiveness, made the day very special. The day was led by Helen Jones who founded Firm Roots Cancer Support, with Father Stephen leading the closing session.

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 and quiet time. 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 wonderful creative workshops run by Katie Whitehead from ‘Divine Days’ where people painted pictures, made clay moulds and candle ornaments. Katie transformed the lounge into a relaxation zone with lights, scents and quiet music, so people could lie or sit, reflect and pray. Many people also received a relaxing hand massage from Vicki Downey, who also played the piano during our worship.

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. Here are some comments from the feedback sheets of people who had attended:

“The retreat was all absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed sharing openly with people who have been on a similar journey.”

"I enjoyed the time to share together, then the creative sessions gave time for relaxation and reflection. All aspects were SO valuable - and it is so important to recognise the spiritual aspect in our lives, especially through the cancer journey."

“The food was excellent, venue perfect and plan for the day was well thought out. This day has been food for the soul and encouraged us in our faith. I would recommend it without hesitation.”

“I had not been on a retreat before and was very pleasantly surprised and moved by the whole experience.”

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!