A collection of poetry by local people has been welcomed to its home in Retreat House Chester.

Retreat House Poets is the name of an initiative undertaken by Chrissie Taylor, a Volunteer with the Chester charity which offers retreat in the city, based in Abbey Square right next door to Chester’s original retreat house.

Involved with writing groups in Chester, and remembering with fondness the former retreat house, Chrissie was keen to invite local people to provide their own poems for a collection to be kept in the new retreat house when it opens.

“When Chrissie asked people for their poems of local interest and with a spiritual perspective,” said Co-ordinator of Retreat House Chester Clare Black, “little did any of us anticipate the volume of enthusiastic responses, nor the sheer quality of the contributions.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of these poets in allowing us to use their poems to inspire those who come the way of Retreat House Chester, and of course to Chrissie who has worked on this volunteer project for more than a year.

“Poetry has its own way of speaking to us and we are truly glad to have the poems of local people here to speak to others.”

More than 30 people gathered to welcome the collaborative collection of 50 or so poems to Abbey Square, including poets not just from Chester but also from North Wales and deep into Cheshire. Acting Dean of the Cathedral Jane Brooke called in to view some of the poems on display.

Chrissie Taylor said of the project: “I’m delighted that my own love of poetry and reflective words has encouraged this project Retreat House Poets.

“Meeting so many local poets has been an inspiration.”

The charity, which encourages reflective living and is soon to undertake refurbishment of rooms in Abbey Square, is planning a bigger project ‘Reflective Chester’ and aims to work on this across the community.

The autumn programme will start in September.

For information see www.retreathousechester.co.uk .