Reposted in 2020 with new photos
For several years I have been able to keep my Aged Parent happy by lending her my battered copy of the 100th Edition of Crockfords. She has loved looking up Clergy she has known and seeing if they are still alive. She is 95 and now living in the past , but always likes to know about Wydale Hall ,our Diocese of York Retreat House . AP talks fondly of her time in the 1970s helping out, when she was widowed , at Bishops House , IONA, (I like the linked review from a spiritual Tripadvisor), the retreat house for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. She made lasting friendships, and was able to grieve , and helping with the menial tasks of a place of hospitality for Spiritual refreshment and Pilgrimage gave her time to re-focus and seek direction and Healing for herself.
I am guessing, without Crockfords , that there must be dozens of Anglican Diocesan Retreat Houses still trading . Now I have issue with Crockfords , Why do they not have a page of Diocesan Retreat houses listed ? The Church of England Year Book has a list of Retreat Houses, including Diocesan ones but not specifically so .
Few Diocesan Retreat Houses actually advertise at all in the Online and paper Retreat Listings . I do not have time to wade through websites and check out mission statements .If its an Anglican House I can expect , not withstanding the beauty of our broadchurch , that all our Diocesan Retreat houses being under Authority , are going to be offering Courses , Holidays , Quiet Days and Conference facilities that I can trust . So please Church House Publishing publish a list in Crockfords, I am quite able to discern from there on , having passed the first filter. Reading the sparse PDFs of Synod reports which mention Retreat Houses I cannot believe that the Anglican church in the UK is trying to keep them as undiscovered gems, when the treasure is yearning to be shared.
So to Wydale Hall , my own York Diocesan Retreat &Conference Centre, a short drive from Filey , where I live and work and have my being.
Here on the North Yorkshire Coast , south of Scarborough , and a part of the UK that is a holiday retreat for thousands, we are always getting mentioned in the Sunday Papers. We are a destination of choice, a place for a second home, a place with the best beach, the best fish and chips , etc, but this all comes with an infrastructure of Industry that has been finely honed since the coming of the Railways .
The people of Filey and especially those in the Tourist trade , service a vast Industry .
From June to September we never take the car after 9am to Scarborough to the Building Society, or the hospital , M and S or Boyes (our much loved local emporium). We never go to our local greengrocer or butcher after 9.30am. The pavements of Filey are always four abreast with happy tourists with their children , mothers in law and dogs, enjoying a retreat of the seaside kind. Its the same all over this part of Yorkshire, beach or moor, dale or castle , we are a magnet for holiday makers, and proud we are that they all love us so much.
Wydale Hall then is where Filey Parishioners love to go away from it all . We can go for the day to a Quiet Day , for Communion on the first Wednesday in the month, for a couple of nights just re -charging our batteries. We can sign up for a course, or take our Youth Groups away for a break at the Emmaus Centre , have a Parish weekend , and all just a short drive from home into a different world. Laughing lunches at Wydale are now being mentioned in our Parish magazine .
I have done much of my growing at Wydale . I remember the Quiet days that were led by Rev Ron Treasure in the 90s and 00s, where opportunities for counselling , Laying on of hands for Healing , and personal and private prayer times changed my life for ever. The same goes for Parish Weekends. It took a lot of courage for spouse and I to go to our first one. We didn’t want to go but felt we should join the rest of our homegroup. Twice , in 2010 and 2012 we were led by Rev Keith Powell , a Diocesan Renewal Adviser from Somerset . We were truly zapped in the most lasting (and anglican way ) no hype, no fuss , just good teaching and much Holy Spirit Power. The Parish Media Team blogged through those times at Wydale, you may like to join us and see what the Lord Did with us, I have put links at bottom of this post . **
Diocesan Retreat centres, like *Parcevall Hall for those in the West Riding are always Lovely houses in beautiful locations. They are all prayed in places and in my experience can have an atmosphere of the aroma of God. They are places where the Holy Spirit dynamic may be ‘felt ‘. I find the atmosphere , fragrance , peace of God in Wydale, set in a hidden valley above Snainton, and yet is only half a mile from the busy Scarborough to Pickering road.
Yesterday I went with Rev Liz Kitching to Wydale for the ride. She was taking her monthly informal Communion open to anyone there.
My beloved came too , and joined Liz for the HC. I wandered the grounds , got Mark the manager to show me the view again from the top bedrooms, sampled the coffee and sussed out any changes. I hadn’t been for 18 months since visits to Aged Parent in Beverley have taken so much of my time and head. I’d prayed for good weather, as I wanted to see the Labyrinth again in the walled garden . I rang my Telephone Prayer Partner Rachel in Nottingham first . She always keeps me in line, with her experience and good sense. On Bank Holiday Monday Rachel had been disappointed because she and her family , including small boy were due to have day out at her own Diocesan house Launde Abbey.It was pouring with rain so they couldnt go’ but I was told about last years Open day,with Car Boot sale, Classic Cars to view, Games for children ,refreshments and Open Chapel . It sounded if the whole of Nottingham and Leicester go to - Next year Rachel !! Wydale is different . I couldn’t work out where a Car Boot Sale could even go, but that is the joy of Diversity !
Wydale was looking great, Mark the manager didn’t have to tell me about the Work Party that had done so much in August. I read about it from York Dioceses e-newsletter, and of the 55 people who painted and gardened . What a great idea thought I! A working holiday in such a lovely place .
Jenny and Judith were working in the walled garden yesterday with new pink Wheelbarrow, they are Friends Volunteers. Jenny said that helping at Wydale was just what she loved to do following the death of her husband. The Wydale Gardener Ken and Charlie the maintenance man were making safe the handrails on the steps down from the terrace, and like Parcevall hall have Moles on the lawn !
There are lots of new touches in the Public rooms, and the bedrooms are all being updated as funds allow. The last manager Barry made positive changes and this continues .His years of hard work were appreciated. Mark the new manager brings his own gifting and we in Filey will support him all we can . These special houses are such an asset and we need to use them and publicise them .
The Lacemakers were just finishing their workshop together.
Rural Deans and a bishop and lots of clergy were having a meeting too, and lunch , only the ladies wore clerical collars , but none was our new Bishop Of Hull . We are longing to meet her . Rev Liz says she’s been to Westway Open Arms and she’s ‘fab’ !
From all over the UK with cushions covered in bobbins and threads they had been updating their skills for a few days with tutors from Belgium . I’ll be able to tell AP all about that . She’ll smile and tell me about her wedding veil of Brussels lace that had been her mother’s too in about 1908. We’ll talk about all the times she’s been to Wydale . She might say it belonged to her father, or that she had lived here once. I just go along with it .
So I’m sitting in my little office in this old cottage, thanking God for the central heating on today for the first time since June. The children go back to school here on Wednesday next , so town is still full of caravanners , day trippers and people in holiday cottages working out how to light the Log Burner and thinking where to dine out tonight in Filey.
We’ve had non stop visitors here since July knocking to say Hello! whilst they have a day out at the seaside.
A day or two In Wydale would make a good break, the many trees around Wydale Hall will soon be thinking of shutting down for the winter as well, so all the views will change. Jesus was very keen on being away from it all , and by God incidence my early morning Bible reading on my You Version Bible app yesterday was about having rest and refreshment.
‘The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people and not people to meet the needs of the Sabbath’ NLT Mark 2 v 27
‘Most of all we need to stop and pause and fill our cups with God, even if it’s not on Sundays or for an entire day. Making time to rest in the Lord can be really challenging, but the benefits of that are worth the effort’ from the Devotion ‘The lies of Busyness’ from www.timeofgrace.org
*All I know from a visit to Parcevall Hall was that a mole came up through the lawn about a yard from where I was walking with my husband . It might not have been special for the gardeners , but it was wonderful for us.