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On the Threshold: The courage to stand on the edge of change

Friday, January 5, 2018 - Sunday, January 7, 2018

Unstone Grange - Unstone, Derbyshire, UK

January 5-7, 2018
Fri. 3:30 pm to Sun. 2:00 pm

Unstone Grange
Unstone, Derbyshire, UK

£270 (before 1st November) or £295 (after 1st November) includes program, lodging, and meals

Click to register now

Register by December 1, 2017.

“What happens next is nearly weightless,
The opening where we stand breathless,
On the clean edge of change.”
-Carrie Newcomer

Thresholds are uncertain edges in our lives. They are places of beginnings that have the potential to carry us from one place to another; places of transition where we stand between ‘no longer’ and ‘not yet’, the known and the unknown. They may be challenging and disorienting, and they may lead us to transformation and celebration. When we stand on the threshold, we stand before a potent opening to change that demands wisdom and discernment. Crossing the threshold requires courage and deep inner listening. When we look back, our view of the journey we have made may be poignant.

Join us for a new year weekend retreat of exploration and contemplation on the theme of thresholds in our lives. Working within a ‘Circle of Trust’, an approach to reflection and inner listening developed by Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage and Renewal, we will create space to reflect on the threshold times in our lives and what it means to stand on the edge of change with courage and attention, listening for what calls us, anticipating our next step…

This On the Threshold: The courage to stand on the edge of change retreat offers you a rare, focused and reflective space in the presence of a supportive community to engage in questions of importance to you and deepen your understanding of the connections between who you are and what you do, and to the communities of which you are part.

This community retreat is a low cost event, which we hope will be accessible to many.

Courage & Renewal® retreats foster personal and professional renewal by offering the time and space to:
• pause, disconnect from technology and be still
• explore where you are on your journey
• talk through and honour both struggles and successes
• witness and be witnessed; listen and be listened to
• learn new skills for strengthening your capacity to ask open and honest questions, hold tensions, and rejoin soul and role

The process:

Together, we will engage in large and small group conversations, drawing inspiration for these from poetry and writings and stories. We will share silence, solitude and reflective journaling, and hear tales from our own lives and work. Together we follow a shared exploration of the intersections between our inner passion, courage and sense of purpose that give meaning to our life and work in the world. There will also be an opportunity to work in small groups to learn how to engage in clearness dialogues, a practice that can serve us in everyday life. Clearness dialogues involve deep listening and space-holding for others, enabling us to hear our own inner wisdom while also drawing on the wisdom our companions.

Who should participate:

The retreat welcomes people who are seeking opportunities for reflection and renewal as a means of illuminating their own life journey, or enhancing their leadership role in work, organisational or community settings.

This retreat draws on the work of Parker Palmer and the programmes of the U.S.-based Center for Courage & Renewal. This approach to ‘personal formation’ and professional development is founded on the belief that good leadership, in its very widest sense, – the ability to genuinely be of service in our communities and workplaces, – flows from the identity and integrity of the individual.  The retreat process invites participants to reclaim wholeness of self and clarity of vocation while making connections between the renewal of one’s spirit and the revitalisation of the communities and workplaces of which we are part.

Meet Your Facilitators

Barbara-reid-2014Barbara Reid, PhD, is a U.K.-based facilitator of Circles of Trust, trained at the Center for Courage & Renewal in the U.S. She has worked as a university teacher and researcher in the social and urban policy fields since 1986, leading vocational degree programmes and managing social action research projects for public services and third sector organisations. With a long-standing commitment to contemplative and reflective practice in education, Barbara is now a teacher of Mindfulness Based Approaches, and is a member of the core team at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University. She now divides her time between university teaching, teaching and facilitating in a range of organisational and community settings, and providing supervision to individuals and groups in support of their work and personal growth.

About Our Venue

unstone1Set in the beautiful north Derbyshire countryside between Chesterfield and Sheffield, Unstone Grange is a Centre for Personal Creative Growth with 5 acres of grounds and gardens which is looked after according to permaculture principles. Established for over 20 years, the Grange is run by a charitable trust whose aim is to make their venue available to groups of people wishing to explore their lives, take conscious steps forward in their personal development and ultimately feed that growth and development back into their lives and communities. The centre welcomes groups with a wide range of interests, including meditation, bodywork, healing, dance, drama, artwork, music, and others.

unstone2Accommodation at Unstone Grange, in keeping with the principles of community on which the centre is founded, is comfortable and cosy and in shared rooms with shared facilities. We are able to hold two of the smaller rooms for single occupancy for people with particular health considerations.  All meals are vegetarian. The cooks can also accommodate specific dietary requirements. Please contact us if you need to check on your requirements before registering, and there is also space on the registration form for you to confirm your dietary requirements.

Unstone Grange is just outside the town of Chesterfield in Derbyshire (4 mls from the railway station).  Chesterfield is served by a mainline train station that connects Sheffield and London.

For full details of how to get to Unstone Grange, please go to their website.

Registration & Fees

PROGRAM FEES:  The cost of the program is £270 before November 1, 2017 and £295 after November 1, 2017.  The program fee includes:

  • simple, comfortable overnight accommodation in shared rooms  with shared facilities. We encourage you, in the spirit of the retreat – The Courage to Connect –  to come to room-sharing as part of our community retreat experience, which enables us to price the retreat economically. We will ensure that there is quiet time and space during the retreat for those who need this. Rooms will be allocated on arrival unless you indicate in the registration form that you would like to share with a particular person (or persons). Two smaller rooms are available for single occupation for people with health considerations (please email the organiser on to check availability)
  • delicious vegetarian meals during our retreat time (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks). (Note that Unstone Grange is also able to cater for specific diets if required; please indicate this on your registration form)
  •  facilitation by a skilled facilitator prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal

PAYMENT: Full payment of the retreat fee is required on registration.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Payment is required at the point of registration. You may withdraw your registration before 1st November, at which point you will be offered a refund, minus a 25% admin fee. If you cancel your place on the retreat after 1st November, no refund will be offered. In the unlikely event that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the retreat has to be cancelled by us, we will refund all fees paid by participants. Our liability is limited to refunding only the event fees. We recommend participants have adequate insurance to cover any cancelled travel or personal expenses.

PARTICIPATION: Space is limited to 14 individuals and early registration is encouraged.

REGISTRATION: To register please complete the online registration or email Barbara Reid to request a paper copy of the registration form.

Questions about this retreat?

CONTACT: Barbara Reid ~ telephone: +44 (0)1733 252322  ~ mobile: +44 (0)7970 877092 ~ email:

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