Frequently asked questions
What does it mean to go on a Crossroads retreat?
It means stepping outside of your ordinary life to reflect on yourself, your goals and dreams in life, your values and your relationships. You will have peace and space to think, listen to yourself (and have others listen as well) and find answers at a deeper level. It is a time for discovering the inner clarity and purpose you need to make the best choices at crossroads moments in your life.
We limit numbers on each retreat in order to create a sense of community, where stories can be shared and new insights can be gained in a safe environment. We make use of silence, group activities, reflection and other retreat practices, sometimes working alone and sometimes together as a group.
Why do we go to abbeys, monasteries and retreat houses?
Our retreats are for anyone of any faith or none who is at a ‘crossroads moment’ in their lives. Abbeys and monasteries have long provided hospitality for those on retreat. They meet our need for simple accommodation with space to meet in an atmosphere of peace and quiet. There is no faith element to these open retreats. As a group we do not join with the religious life of the location (if there is one), although individuals who would like to are welcome to do so.
How do I know that this is the right moment to go?
A ‘crossroads moment’ is a good time to reassess and take stock, and there are as many different reasons for coming on a Crossroads Retreat as there are people who come. For some it is changes at work, including redundancy or reorganisation, also bereavement or illness. Others might be feeling ‘stuck’, not fulfilling their potential, and can see that a change is necessary. Retirement may be looming, or perhaps a move because of a partner’s work. If you are uncertain as to whether this is the right time for you to come on retreat, please do call us on 07964 379234.
Will you give me advice for my personal journey?
We will not offer any advice about how you answer the questions you face. We will be there to listen, and to help you to listen to yourself. The retreat encourages people to reflect on their past, which may in turn bring up issues for you. We and others on the retreat may share insights and experience from our own journeys, but what you take from the two days, the insights you have and any decisions or commitments you make, must be accepted as your own responsibility.
It would not be appropriate for you to offer advice to your fellow retreatants.
How will it help?
Making space to reflect and process will help you make good choices. Investing time to think through a major or life-changing decision is always a productive thing to do. You might not find the answer as a result of these two days, but your ability to move forward to that answer will have been greatly enhanced.
Time on retreat can also show you that you are doing the right things, so that you can now do them with more confidence.
How open will I need to be?
Times of change in our lives can be very difficult. They can throw up issues that might otherwise not surface. Those on retreat are completely in control of what they choose to share. There are times when the group will work together, but what is shared is up to individuals. The retreat guides are there to create a safe place and to help if asked.
What happens during the 2 days?
Through guided exercises, time alone and time together the retreat works with these questions:
- Where am I now? How do I come to be here?
- What do I really want? What am I looking for?
- What’s holding me back?
- What do I have available to me? What are my gifts and strengths and how can I use them to bring a real sense of meaning and purpose to my life?
- What could become possible?
- What practically am I going to do to step forward on my journey?
What happens after the two days?
We hope that by the end of the 2 days the next steps will have become clear to you. Six weeks after your retreat we send you follow-up material to encourage you to continue the journey, and a series of ongoing emails should you choose receive them. We are unable to offer one-on-one follow up after the retreat.
What do I need to bring?
The venues provide all meals, bedding and towels. Please feel free to bring anything else which will make your stay more comfortable for you. At various points during the 2 days we suggest that retreatants go outside to walk and process, weather permitting, so we encourage you to bring suitable footwear and a coat. We provide packs of notes and paper for working with the various exercises.
You may also like to bring a small personal notebook to use as your retreat journal. 'Journaling' is the practice of writing down your thoughts and insights as they occur, and this practice will be used during the retreat.
How many people will be on a retreat?
There will never be more than 10 retreatants and 2 or 3 guides.
Who leads the retreats?
Our retreat guides have professional experience of leadership in human resources and coaching. They all have experienced a retreat for themselves and taken part in training by Crossroads Retreats. There is an ‘apprenticeship’ for new retreat guides to give them experience in guiding before they take responsibility for a retreat. There will always be at least 2 guides on a retreat.
How much does it cost?
Crossroads Retreats cost £250 for the two days which covers the costs of the venue, retreat handbook, other resources used during the event, and the administration of the charity. The guides give their time free but have their expenses reimbursed.
A £50 deposit is required to secure your place. This is refundable only in exceptional circumstances.
We want anyone to be able to come on retreat if it would help them. To that end, subsidised places may sometimes be available if needed, and can be applied for within the application form on this website.
How can I support Crossroads Retreats?
Sometimes people reach their 'crossroads' moment through deep crisis which may leave them unable to pay the full cost of a retreat. With your support, we can help them benefit from time away on retreat to think through their situation. Donations also help us develop new retreats and resources, and fund publicity and communications materials. You can give to Crossroads Retreats via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Simply type in our charity number 1118176 or our name - Crossroads Retreats. If you are a UK tax payer, don't forget to Gift Aid your donation. Visit our support information page for more ideas. Whatever you give will make a difference, so thank you.