Church Weekend Away

Next January we plan to take the whole Church away for a weekend in Devon.  Here’s the key info –

Where are we going?  To Sidholme, a Christian run hotel in Sidmouth South Devon.  Some of us have stayed there before and it is a really comfortable place with good food and great facilities (including an indoor pool).  Lady St Mary are going there for a weekend in November so it comes well recommended.

When are we going?  We will be arriving in time for dinner on Friday 24 January and leaving after lunch on Sunday 26.  All meals including lunch are included in the cost.


What will we be doing?  We’ll be having times to deepen our fellowship with God and each other through worship and Bible teaching.  We’ll also be having fun with activities, walks and trips.  As you can see from the brochure there’s loads to do in the area inside and out.

Can anyone come?  Definitely – this invitation specially includes members of the family who don’t usually come to church.  We’ll be working on a programme for them as well.

How about children/young people? -  Matt and the Youth Team are going to be putting together a programme specifically aimed at our young people?

How will we get there? The plan is for us to take our cars and give lifts to one another.   There is a space on the booking form to indicate if you have spaces in your car.

Why are we going in January?  Because that’s when Sidholme can accommodate us – they are really in demand!  But it’s also cheaper in low season.  And Spring and summer is the time when people in Swanage tend to have visitors themselves.   But whatever the weather there will be lots of fun things to do inside or out.

How much will it cost? The cost depends on what sort of room you have.  The cost for the whole weekend (including all meals) from Friday evening through to Sunday lunch is as follows:

Main House     - superior room            - £147 per person

                        - ensuite room             - £125 per person

                        - non-ensuite               - £108 per person

Annexe            - ensuite room             - £120 per person

                        - non-ensuite   -           £88 per person

There is also a discount for children

  • 0-4 are free
  • 5-10 pays 25% of the adult rate
  • 11-15 - 50% of the adult rate
  • 16-17 - 75% of the adult rate

For a 3 day weekend away in a nice hotel in a lovely part of the country that is great value.

How are we going to pay for this?  Mike Hayes (who has done this job when we had the last church weekend) is going to look after the money side of things.

Some might be able to pay all at once.  But others might prefer to pay in instalments and Mike has set up a bank account into which the money will be paid.

NOW THIS BIT IS REALLY IMPORTANT! – We don’t want anyone not to be able to come because of finance.  So what we would like everyone to do is to pay an upfront deposit of £10 and then pay what you can towards the cost over the next 5 months.  But inevitably there will be a shortfall for one or two people.  The only person who will know about that will be Mike and he will give me a figure that we need to raise to cover any shortfall and we’ll take up an offering at the weekend.  So please come – the most important thing is that you are there!

What do I do now?  First please put the date in your diary. 

Next – please fill in the booking form you received in church and send it back to Roger Arnett (who is organizing the weekend for us) together with a deposit of £10 per person (there’s a handy envelope included – cheques payable to All Saints Weekend).  You will see that the booking form gives a choice of different rooms and it would be good if you can circle them in order of preference.  If you are happy to share a twin bedded room could you say who you would like to share with (it would be good to ask them first!).    Also please state if you would like a single, double, twin or family room.  We’ll try to accommodate people’s requirements as much as possible.  But Sidholme only takes an absolute maximum of 133 people so we need to move fast.

When do we need to the replies back?  We need you to decide to come and send in your booking form to Roger by Sunday 22 September.

Finally – I am convinced that this is going to be a very special weekend in the life of our church.  So please be praying for all the planning and preparation as we build up to the weekend.  When we have had weekends away at All Saints in the past they have been remarkable encounters with each other and the Lord.  So let’s get praying right away.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Sidholme.

Your friend and vicar


Take a look at Sidholme Hotel here: