Holy Rood House in Thirsk - the Centre for Health and Pastoral Care - provides a welcome and entry for everyone to a safer space when life is falling apart, and an oasis in the midst of life’s turmoil, explained the Revd Elizabeth Baxter (pictured) recently to Churches Together in Easingwold and District.
Holy Rood and beighbouring Thorpe House were originally private homes, becoming in turn a school and then a Convent of the Sisters of the Holy Rood in the 1970s. When they moved on, Elizabeth and her late husband Stanley came here from Leeds in 1993 to set up the Centre. It includes accommodation, meeting rooms, a chapel, a very extensive library and a quiet garden. The prime Mission involves the two ministries of Teaching and Healing, for individuals and groups, for short or longer stays.
The community offers flexibility in an accepting and creative environment, to people looking for someone to accompany them on their spiritual journey. Sometimes a time of transition, illness or trauma can be the moment to find the right person and the place to make this important journey.
The Ecumenical team of Spiritual Directors and Accompaniers, both lay and ordained, have a variety of skills. Much use is made of the creative arts, in which people are encouraged to flourish, not fail.
Guests come from many places and may be self-referred (often via the internet), or by a doctor or other professional.
In addition, the Centre runs an extensive programme of retreats and other events.
Easingwold Deanery Publicity Officer Michael Wansborough said, "It proved to be a most interesting and informative session, raising a number of questions, which we were able to discuss with Elizabeth afterwards."