Sep 27

A weekend away


On Friday 14th September, a number of people from St. Mark’s (plus a few other friends) checked into Thornleigh Christian Hotel, Grange-over-Sands. Most of us arrived in time for a delicious supper at 6.30 p.m.

After we’d eaten we gathered in one of the lounges where we were welcomed, reminded of the purpose of the weekend and given an outline of the optional program for the weekend.

To get people’s attention Jules had an angelic bell. [After she’d used it a few times some people began pulling her leg but, although it was bit school like, I thought it was a good idea because often getting everybody’s attention was a bit like herding cats!]

Paul also gave us all a “numeric/alphabetic” quiz sheet, which we were encouraged to complete over the weekend – not there and then, Dorothy!

We then had time to relax! Some chatted, some retired to their rooms and some adjourned to a local hostelry, “The Keg and Kitchen”, in order to unwind.

View from a bedroom window on Saturday morning!

The following morning we all gathered for breakfast at 8.30 a.m. After we’d eaten we had prayers in the “Chapel”.

There was more time to do as we liked before we assembled in one of the lounges for “coffee” and to hear the plan for the day! We were told about the “prayer tree” that Eileen had brought and were given cards on which we were encouraged to write a prayer before the end of the weekend. We were then asked to sit next to people that we didn’t know very well and discuss a variety of “life-style” questions before reporting back to the group.

Then time passed quickly and, before we knew it, it was time for more food! A lunch of very tasty beef burgers!

Considering the weather forecast we had heard, we were very blessed with the weather. So after lunch, Peter led some of us on a walk along the promenade and back.

Others stayed in the hotel. Some engaged in the art activities that Dave had provided, whilst others strolled to the town centre shops or sat in a café and watched the world go by.

Supper at 6.30 p.m., was another amazing meal, after which Paul had organised a couple of quizzes!

The first quiz was immediately after we’d all finished eating and then we returned to the dining room, which had kindly been cleared by the lovely staff, so that we could indulge in a Beetle Drive that Sal had organised.

This began very sedately but became more and more competitive as it progressed!

In the end Peter seemed more delighted to get the booby prize for coming last than Dorothy had been to win!!!

Some people retired to bed before we returned to the lounge for the final quiz!

After breakfast on the Sunday morning, we gathered in the chapel once more – this time for a Holy Communion service.

After the service we had a “coffee” and Paul gave us the answers to the quiz that he had given us on the first evening!

Then before our final lunch, Walter gathered us all together in front of the hotel for a group photo in the sunshine.

Apart from the occasion when John fell off the curb right in front of a car (and really frightened the driver and those he was with) a good time was had by all; and we need to thank Joules for all the hard work she put into planning the event and the staff at Thornleigh who were all really welcoming and helpful.

Thank you too to Walter for the group photo, which is a great souvenir!

For more information about Thornleigh Hotel go to



P.S. By the Grace of God John was not seriously hurt in the accident.

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