Spring Saunter: to the Sacred Place

“Thank you so much for such a profound and brilliant retreat, and for hosting and leading so amazingly and naturally. It was simply incredible.” Matt C

SPRING SAUNTERS 2017

Mottisfont, nr Winchester, Hants;

choose from: Tues May 9th, Thurs May 11th, Thurs May 18th or Sat May 20th

1pm - 5.30pm; suggested donation (inc. reduced entrance fee) £25, or £20 for members of the National Trust)

with Brian Draper and Howard Green

 

I'm thrilled to say that the National Trust are once again letting us use Mottisfont for a series of Spring Saunters! It's a combination of spring wander - with Howard Green, 'lead outdoor guide' for the National Trust at Mottisfont who knows the area's history, flora and fauna in inspiring detail - and spiritual reflection from me along the way... all in the delightful setting of Mottisfont, a 'thin place' in Hampshire I love to return to whenever I need to reconnect with myself, and God, and the simple beauty of nature.

We've called it a 'saunter' because we're inspired by Robert MacFarlane's book The Old Ways, in which he explains that 'saunter' is "from the French ... 'a la sainte terre', meaning 'to the sacred place'."  Mottisfont is itself a sacred place, in my book - and at its heart is a well-spring that's never been known to run dry. It's a beautiful metaphor we'll use to help us journey towards our own inner well-spring, our own sacred place, on the day.

So we'd love you to join us for this unique opportunity. I'm so delighted that Howard, a fount of wisdom, will help me to guide this retreat.  "I continue to learn on my own spiritual journey as a Christian," he says, "and find particular help from being in the countryside." As do I.

Places will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Write to me at briandraperuk@gmail.com to reserve your place.

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More details:

* For more details about Mottisfont, and how to get there, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

* Mottisfont is a 20-minute drive from Winchester, Hampshire. If you don't have a car, I might be able to pick you up from Winchester station, and drop you back there after. Do ask me about it.

* We'll meet at 1pm Come prepared to walk for some of the time, and to pause for some of the time. We'll reflect together in a group, as well as spending time individually in silent contemplation. Crucially, we'll enjoy an afternoon in the company of others as we go in search of our sacred place!

* A word about our spirituality: Howard and I are Christians, and our spirituality naturally flows from that particular well-spring. But the retreat is accessible to people of all faiths and none - so if you wish to reconnect at a deeper level with yourself, with God and with the surroundings, it's for you.

* It'll be slow-paced and there is a delightful kitchen café that we'll make use of along the way.