What's Available in the Retreat Centre
The Retreat Centre is a most comfortable and warm room with 15 chairs in which to relax (or fall asleep!!). Other chairs and tables can be taken out into the beautiful gardens, for it is always sunny when visitors are there! If required, equipment for presentations is available, flip chart, television, screen, dvd/cd players etc. There is a kitchenette where food can be prepared and drinks made. Those 'meeting and greeting' always offer tea, coffee, biscuits etc to visitors on their arrival and, all such drinks and drinks are provided free throughout the day. In addition to the Retreat Centre itself and the garden, visitors have full use of the beautiful chapel. It is a place of peace and prayer supplemented by wonderful messages displayed in the form of biblical texts and mini-sermons left on the chapel walls by those who had the vision to build Hartlip in 1820.
Visitors arrive as individuals (for private retreats), couples, small or larger groups. Most are from religious backgrounds and from all denominations. Apart from August, when we let the Retreat Centre rest (and those who coordinate its activities!), the centre is used constantly (and this is without any advertising). In the last Retreat Year (for us October to October) there have been 67 separate visits involving over 400 visitors.
The Retreat Centre is not run as a business, though donations are always welcome to assist for the wellbeing and upkeep of the Centre.
However, it is probably best to let the visitors themselves say how it is — here are two examples from our visitor's book:
'Thank you so much for the hospitality and allowing us to share the peace, tranquillity and spirituality of this place — all of which we intend to take with us on our journeys'
'Yet again you prepared for us in prayer, welcomed us in love as God held us in his care and sent us on, sustained and hopeful'
It has become our tradition that all visitors are prayed for in our intercessional prayers in our regular Sunday service prior to their visit and in a similar way we pray for them after they have been to Hartlip allowing God's continued blessing on their thoughts, deliberations, outcomes, rest and relaxation. On our Retreat Sunday in October all of our visitors during the previous 12 months are again gathered up and named in a 'roll of honour' in a single prayer before God so that His continued blessing remains with them.
The coordinators for the Retreat Centre (and since its inception in fact) are Derek and Heather Gallagher. Please feel free to contact them to book a day at Hartlip — they will be very pleased to welcome you to the Retreat Centre and render hospitality to you.
Please contact us for more information
A Catholic brother visiting Hartlip Retreat Centre a few years ago for the first time and crossing the threshold into the chapel stopped and went no further before he said 'We are standing on Holy Ground' and that is our Hartlip — please come and share it with us.