Those 7 from Trinity who attended the Ffald-y-Brenin Christian Retreat, close to the Pembrokeshire Coast, were indeed the lucky ones! Helen had done well to secure accommodation at relatively short notice, having been inspired to do so by a reading of Roy Godwin’s “Grace Outpouring”, in turn prompted by Ken, who had already attended the retreat.
For it is a special place and one which has been welcoming believers since Celtic times, although the current buildings were constructed as recently as in the 1980s. There have been many well-documented instances of the Holy Spirit moving in and around the centre and in some almost incredible ways too. Whatever their personal experience of several days here, most speak of a deep sense of peace in the presence of Jesus Christ. Many are compelled towards passionate outpourings of great fervour whilst others enter into an almost trance-like state of calm.
Underpinning everything is the gentle rhythm of prayer: meetings in the Chapel in the morning, at noon, in the early and late evening, with a simple liturgy, readings, open prayer and sung praise. Always there is an insistence that words should be said slowly so that their full significance can be understood and felt. Significantly too, with a round chapel, there is no hierarchy and we are equal before God and can engage fully with each other.
This is what Linda said:
“What I took from the days was the beauty and wonder of that countryside, how good it was to relax, not have the interruption of everyday life – especially mobile devices, to talk and just be together, but also the chance to be alone when needed. Also, the love, support and companionship was a great comfort and a strength we need to hold on to.”
I agree – the time spent with those of our own group and the good people we met was special indeed and we pray that more may share in this. We pray too that one day we might have such a place in our own Aire and Wharfe Valleys! Helen said: “I never stopped laughing!” Here is the proof…..