History, Today and the Future

About Us

At Stanton House Retreat Centre, we provide an oasis, a haven, a place of prayer for rest, refreshment and renewal. We believe this, and regular retreating, can be healing to the soul. We have closed our doors and rested for almost a year. This has been an opportunity for recovery and fresh vision. Now, as we leave lockdown, a word that applies to Stanton House and all who visit her is the famous Song of Songs passage: “the winter is past – flowers appear on the earth – and spread their fragrance. Arise, my love… and come away.” We invite you too to ‘come away and rest for a while’. This place of stunning beauty, of prayer and rest, nestled in the country with bubbling streams and flowers appearing and beautiful views all around… is reopening and we believe will be a source of renewal and restoration for many at such a time as this.

History

Stanton House was built in 1879/80 by John Thompson. In 1963 it was sold to Geoffrey Gould, a Christian architect from London. His vision was for Stanton House to be a place of intercession and a powerhouse for prayer. In 1977, Geoffrey and his wife Marjorie were introduced to James and Joan Haig-Ferguson, whose vision was to welcome missionaries on home leave, and space for other Christians under pressure to seek renewal. In 1978 Stanton House became a charitable trust. Almost immediately, Geoffrey died of a heart attack and so James and Joan Haig-Ferguson, with the help of some willing and able helpers continued the restoration work and building of the fellowship to bring the vision to reality. Restoration was substantially completed in 1984.

CLICK HERE for an in depth history of Stanton House

Today

Stanton House is to provide a place where guests can come for rest, relaxation, and refreshment, and have the opportunity to draw closer to God… For Team members and helpers it is to be a place where they are growing together spiritually and are serving God in and through community life.

In this new season, the COVID pandemic has changed so much. Part of what we aspire to do now is offer the chance – and a place – for people who realise they need, for their own survival, to “be still and know God”. We believe that this can save us and restore us as almost nothing else will. We believe taking time to retreat into the presence of a loving God can help us to advance into the future. Henri Nouwen once wrote: “When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within me and around me.”

In the new season, as well as the legendary hospitality of Stanton House, we want to add value to some retreats for any who would like. We plan to design an additional prayer walk to add to the one we have at present, the chance to do a guided retreat if your stay last three days, and the chance to join in the Community’s ‘Morning and Night Prayer’ as a rhythm on retreat, as well as the opportunity to have a silent retreat at meal times should you so wish. In the future, we will also offer art and poetry and other themed retreats. At the same time, if you wish to simply be still at Stanton House and follow your own plans in the format which over the years has been so popular, you are most welcome.

May God bless you as you come to Stanton House.

Future

Staff accommodation has always been one of the major issues for the smooth running of the house and we are hoping that the time has finally arrived to expand the living space. The Trust is currently exploring the possibilities with the help of a planning consultant to make proposals to the local council which will be acceptable and in line with planning policies whilst meeting the specific needs of the house. We are all excited about this project and hope it will not take too long to develop and accomplish. Please join us in praying for wisdom, favour with the planning authorities, a good flow of funding and safety for all involved in this venture.