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Cheshire retreat experience involves two days of silence

Retreats are becomingly increasingly popular with Hollywood stars like Emma Watson

Foxhill, set in 70 acres of woodland.

Have you ever thought about getting away from social media chatter and the stresses of every day life by going on a silent retreat?

The Diocese of Chester is offering a two-day taster retreat for those who believe ‘Silence is Golden’ but are not yet ready to go the full distance with an eight-day retreat.

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Hollywood actors Andrew Garfield, lead role in The Amazing Spider-Man, and Adam Driver, Kylo Ren in Star Wars, recently completed an eight-day retreat in St Asaph in preparation for their roles in Martin Scorsese’s latest film Silence but found it very difficult.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson also went on a retreat after a painful break-up.

Called ‘Breathing Space’, the Cheshire experience includes two whole days of silence at Foxhill House and Woodlands, near Frodsham.

The Rev Anne Samuels, who is part of the organising team, said: “People might find eight days of silence a bit daunting so we thought we would try and make it more manageable.

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"Breathing Space is for anyone seeking to live within the Christian Faith, it would also be fine for people in different kinds of ministry or service who would like to lighten the load or become less busy.”

There is plenty of room for rest and relaxation, including 70 acres of rolling woodlands for walks plus dedicated art space.

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson went on a retreat after a painful break-up. Picture: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

People are allocated to a prayer guide, who they can choose to meet each day for about 30 minutes, and who will suggest ways to relax and ways to pray – perhaps with a passage of Scripture.

Everyone is encouraged to set aside particular times for private prayer. There is also communal worship in the chapel.

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The retreat runs from May 9-12 and includes two whole days of silence. There is an introduction on the Tuesday night, then silence on the Wednesday and Thursday ending with breakfast and communion on the Friday morning.

Foxhill House and Woodlands is a Christian centre for prayer, study and mission owned by the Diocese of Chester. The house itself is a Victorian property surrounded by 70 acres of rolling woodlands.

People are advised that a silent retreat may not be helpful for someone recently bereaved or going through a time of great stress. Such circumstances probably require more structured support.

The cost is £195 per person and includes three nights’ single en suite accommodation and all meals. A bursary is available. To book, call: 01928 733777 or visit www.foxhillconferences.co.uk

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