Hello, and welcome to our quarterly newsletter – champion! Spring has sprung here in Yorkshire, although Westwood feels a bit like a bar where all the different weathers converge to hang out after a hard day’s weathering. You probably don’t know what it’s like to witness a sunny hailstorm, but we do. People talk about the slow onset of climate change, but it can change and change back again within 10 minutes on Bolster Moor!
The season has started very well for the centre: in terms of centre usage, we are experiencing our busiest March since records began, and April is predicted to be, in turn, the most fulsome month ever. We’ve started painting and updating some of the flats, which means there’s always something fun going on here at the moment.
Since our last newsletter, we’ve continued to press on with our vision of turning Westwood inside-out rather than upside down. Our second comedy night in March was another sell-out and another storming success – lots of local residents said it was the best comedy night they’d ever been to. It later transpired that some of them had never been to a comedy night and so it was, tragically, also the worst comedy night they’d ever been to – but we’ll take it. See below for details on our third comedy instalment coming up in June.
Project Treasure (which you may know is our new initiative for providing short breaks to people who couldn’t otherwise afford to get away) is proving very successful. We have so far raised over £2000, and we are excited to be welcoming new friends to Westwood through the project. If you would like to donate to Treasure, please do get in touch: every little donation helps!
Air Bnb is something new which we’re trialling, and that’s also going incredibly well. It’s a great opportunity to attract guests who wouldn’t normally google ‘Christian retreat centres’ (which, let’s be honest, is most people) and we’re proving particularly popular with the Americans and Germans. We’ve yet to tap into the Andorran market, but there’s time I suppose.
Our weekly House of Prayer event is growing. We start with food at 4:30pm so the kids can join in, and then we have a more grown-up time of worship from 7:30pm. We’re seeing God move and do some great stuff, and we’re hopeful for more as we journey on.
Finally, we have some fun events coming up over the next couple of months. For more info on any of them, contact the office (details below):
Wednesday 19th April – The Great Big Westwood Creative Day. We’re opening up the centre for a day of painting and bread-making and Lego-building and other fun stuff. Free to attend, open to all ages. It would be great to see you there!
29th May – 2nd June – Writing Outside the Box, Writer’s Retreat. A week-long guided retreat, including 1-2-1 sessions with professional writers, plus free time to work on your own writing projects and ideas. Cost is £175 including all food and accommodation.
Friday 30th June – Comedy Night. Top comedians Steve Royle (as seen on Phoenix Nights) and Wes Zaharuk will be wowing us with some award-winning comedy. £7 entry; 7:45 start. Book your tickets now – this will sell out!
That’s all for now. You can look forward to another Newsletter in the Summer…
Blessings for now,
Becca, Andy, Ellie and Jake