Greenhouse Christian Centre Review
Last year, I was very much in need of some time out with God. Being a busy mum meant I couldn't have a long time away but just a little time away to reflect and refresh was needed. I spoke with my husband who was in agreement and started to look at christian retreat days. I was fortunate enough that a friend could come with me too.
Some of the retreat centres look beautiful and had full on programs but I was more in need of space. I then found the Greenhouse Christian Centre - It was just what I was looking for...
It was by the coast where I used to live (Poole, Dorset), so I already knew the area and they were offering a led quiet day using creativity. It felt perfect. The day cost £30 including lunch, refreshments and materials. The day was from 10am-4pm but you could go to chapel service at 9.30am beforehand. Prayer was offered through a sign up sheet and there were quiet reflective spaces if you needed to be by yourself.
The Quiet Day
The day was led by a lady called Curie, named after Marie Curie and she had trained as a medical doctor. She then went onto to do a PHD in drawing and how that effects the brain and learning. She was also part of SOZO ministries in the UK. She was a knowledgeable christian and I felt comfortable in her presence. It wasn't really a quiet day as we were allowed to speak but there was plenty of opportunities to hear from God. I'm not sure I would like a silent/quiet day as being an extrovert I'd find this hard to do.
We started the day off with a connections activity - as we will all have a connection/similarity in some way, a mindfulness exercise and then a group activity of how we felt about the day. It really helped us to bond as a group. The group was mainly women and a mixture of ages. It was guided in prayer and scripture.
We then headed to a different area and collected items that we felt drawn too from what was laid out on the tables, we then created a collage about who we were. Afterwards we had a chance to share and reflect on how God saw us.
A 2 course lunch was served in the dining room. It was really nice and they catered for my non lactose and gluten needs well. There was a choice and everything was cooked fresh. I had a jacket potato (which was huge) and a sorbet for pudding. Each table had a host, who made sure everyone was looked after and everyone felt part of the conversation.
In the afternoon, we each had a canvas and wrote a hope we had with God. We then decorated the hope with layers and shapes. After this we did a prayer walk around the gardens, collecting things we felt God was talking to us about. We then had a time to share. The time ended in prayer together. We were able to take our artwork away and I felt blessed and connected with God. It was very peaceful and I would do this again.
As the centre was an hour and half away, we stayed overnight. Our room was clean and basic but what made it special was that there was a personalised scripture for me on the pillow. The hotel pray over each guest staying. I felt loved and accepted here.
The hotel was a big old converted Victorian house, beautiful with purpose built areas for quiet time and reflection. There is a lovely garden and pond area. There was also an outside swimming pool but as out of season it was not open. There was a dining room, a drawing room, conservatory and a lounge for television. There was a chapel room too. It was clean, tidy and bright.
Dinner was a roast and pudding was a fruit salad this time for my GFDF requirements. It was fresh, plentiful and tasted good. Again, we sat on a table of 8 people with other guests and we heard their stories of what brought them here and their day. Afterwards we retired to the drawing room and chatted with some of the other guests. We got to meet some really interesting characters and were considered the young ones! It was a fun evening and not what I would normally do. It was a break from the normal and a real time of refreshment.
The beds were comfortable and the facilities were good. In the morning breakfast was served from 8am and again there was a big selection for my requirements. We then packed up, vacted the hotel room and went to the chapel service at 9.30am. This service was about healing and I was really blessed by this time in the word, worship and prayer. This service is open and free to all.
The centre offers quiet days without creativity, personal retreats and a variety of different led retreats. They also offer silent days too.
I thought the day and the centre were well planned out, I felt part of Gods family and grew in my relationship with him. The quiet led creativity day was value for money. There was lots of time to absorb and I felt peaceful here. Staying in a twin room with bed breakfast and evening meal, came to a total of £79 and this I also thought was great value. There were options to stay in a single room with en-suite if you would prefer. I would come again and recommend this place to others.