Welcome to the Westwood Summer newsletter, seemingly only moments since we sent the Spring edition!
The Spring was a very busy and abundant time for the centre: we reached record occupancy levels, and also saw a new record for ‘Damage Caused by Guests in the Space of a Single Week’. We don’t want to talk about it, but the damage caused smashed the previous record from 1999, when a gang of geese briefly but ruthlessly took control of the centre. To reiterate, we do not wish to talk about this.
On to actual events, and here are some recent highlights…
During the Spring we hosted a popular Writer’s Retreat, as well as reviving the Westwood Creative Days made famous by Colin and Carole Pattenden during their wardenship. We had our summer Comedy Night at the end of June, and that was another sell-out, with complimentary G&T’s helping the fantastic comedy to go down smoothly. We are not planning an autumn Comedy Night, in order to leave room for other things. The events keep on coming, and we’re keen to develop a programme of ‘experiences’ that will draw in people from all over the World/UK/predominantly Huddersfield area. See below for our current crop of upcoming events! None of the events will involve a violent struggle with geese over the running of the centre.
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 beneficial to many. We were recently able to shelter a lady in a housing crisis in the Lookout flat for a week. During her time there (which she mistakenly called ‘the Lockup’) she had amazing encounters with God – she was able to write songs, journal and have words from the Lord for herself and others, and to rest and recover from an abusive relationship she had just left. It’s a privilege to be able to use the resources we have to bless others, and we hope to be able to do more and more of that. We are always keen for donations towards Project Treasure, so if you would like to help subsidise the cost of someone’s stay, do get in touch with the office.
House of Prayer – we regularly meet to pray with other local Christians on a Thursday evening, starting with a meal and family worship for all ages. We have had the privilege of praying with and for people who are in difficult situations, including some troubled teens who have come with their friends to join us. Westwood has been a place of healing and encounter with the Holy Spirit for some very troubled people, and we are excited to grow as a family and welcome in others to share food, pray and worship with us.
So, what’s coming up? Do make a note in your diary of anything that interests you, and please tell your friends to come along!
The Painting Saints – 7th-11th August
Westwood, sometimes referred to by nobody as Old Faithful, is an old building which requires regular work to keep standards high. Heidi, our 2 year old, is doing a stirling job of pulling up weeds, but her tiny hands are not enough! For this week in August, we are offering free accommodation and food for anyone (with practical skills) willing and able to come and help decorate/renovate parts of the centre. Jake is in charge, and he’s probably the 3rd nicest of the 4 wardens here, so you know you’re in good hands.
Westival! – Monday 28th August (Bank Holiday)
The Summer festival to end all festivals…is still probably Glastonbury, but this one-day event will be good too! With balloon-modelling and face-painting for the kids, BBQ and live music from the amazing Rocca Brothers plus others, Westival is going to be a really fun and family-friendly way to end the August bank holiday. We’re hoping next year to do a full weekend, so help us make this first one a triumph! There will also be an evening music gig, so stay tuned for more on that!
Stay and Pray (The Secret Place) – Sunday 10th September – Sunday 17th September
Building on the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative started by the Archbishop of Canterbury, we are having a week of prayer here at Westwood. The deal is this: you can come and stay for free for anything from 1-6 nights, and we will provide meals, but we ask that your sole focus for that week is prayer and worship – for the centre, the local area, and obviously the people and things in your own life. So many of us were brought up to see prayer as dutiful, boring and ineffective, when the reality – as we at Westwood are realising – is that it’s actually an intimate chat with a Father who loves us immeasurably, who has awesome things to say, and who wants to meet us, transform us and change our world in, as Jesus put it, ‘the secret place’. We’ve got some creative ideas brewing for the week, so if you feel stirred to come along, please get in touch by contacting the office.
Spiritual Spa Day – Saturday 2nd September; Spiritual Spa Weekend 7-8 October
This is another new initiative. Modelled around the structure of a standard spa day, it will focus on relaxing, refreshing and reviving your spirit.
Comedy and Carols – Friday 15th AND Saturday 16th December
Following the massive success of last year’s Comedy and Carols, we are having a bumper edition across two nights. We’ll be bringing some more top comedians from around the country for this unique event mixing your favourite carols and your new favourite comedians. At £8 per ticket and with mince pies on tap, it’s sure to be a brilliant couple of nights.
To book onto any of the above events, or to garner more info, please contact the office:
That’s all for now!
Love and blessings,
Andy, Becca, Ellie and Jake