Gateway Summer Youth Conference program

Preparations are nearing completion for the Gateway Summer Youth Conference 2022!  

We will be welcoming young adults (18 – 30 years of age) from 18th to 31st July, as part of the wider Discipleship Course running from 21st March – 31st August.  The two weeks of Gateway are like a mini-version of the discipleship course, but with a more concentrated program of teaching, including invited speakers. 

A number of young people have booked in, but there is still space! Join us for these two weeks of prayer,  fellowship, teaching, service, experiencing community life – and some relaxation and fun… 

Invited Speakers


In this dark time…

This is a personal reflection in response to the war in Ukraine, written by Silvie who is from the Czech Republic. The photos are Silvie’s, taken during a visit to the Ukraine in 2011.

Tonight, I can’t go to sleep. I wouldn’t be able to. A maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed. I saw pictures of people and children who were being taken out after the bombing. A young boy was saying: ‘I am sad for my mum.’ And many more pictures of people deprived of everything, people fleeing, people wounded, people dying, and people crying. And I can’t stop crying myself. After two weeks of war, it looks as if there were absolutely no boundaries for this evil. All the suffering and killing that have happened so far haven’t been enough for someone to stop this war. It seems as if all justice was gone from the earth. It almost seems as if God didn’t exist or didn’t care. Almost. But I know the opposite is true. I know Jesus Crucified; I know Jesus my Beloved.


The Apiary at HOD

The Apiary that we didn’t have to build

By Brother Loarne Ferguson

[Editor: Last year we had Brother Loarne living with us at HOD for several months, and during this time he was working on an apiary for us (or “Bee palace” as he says sometimes). In this article he shares the vision behind the build as an eco-project which he led during his time with us.]

“I hope the bees appreciate it!” said Kev, as we put the tools away. Andy transferred the active hives into place a few days after we had taken the main photo. Jo and June are planting climbing jasmine at the base of the lattice to form a ‘green wall’ which will break the force of the strong, north wind and give the bees a nearby source of food. The hives have plenty of space for ‘supers’ to go on top of them as the bee colonies grow… “So what,” you may ask, “is the point of all that?”

It’s a fair question. We could have bought timber down at B&Q, poured a bit of concrete into the ground and banged a similar structure together in four weeks. Why spend four months on something we could have done more quickly and easily? The answer is simple: because we didn’t have to. There are some things in life you have to start before you fully understand why you are doing them. I am told that marriage is like that and I know it holds true for the consecrated life too. It also applies to the way we built the apiary.


An invitation to our Discipleship Course 2022…

He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew :18

We offer young people aged 18 to 30 the opportunity to come and be discipled to Jesus, on our long-running Discipleship Course   Join us as we seek God through prayer, fellowship, experience of community, teaching, service and mission. 

In 2022 we offer

If you think God could be nudging you to join us in this adventure in 2022, please click on the links below for more details and how to apply. If you can’t come but know someone who might be interested, please share these links with them- thanks! God bless and hope to see some of you soon! more…

Candlemas: Anna – waiting

Lynda shares a reflection for Candlemas…

On Wednesday, 2nd February, the Church celebrates the feast of Candlemas, for some, the real end of the Christmas season.  It is a time to remember the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, as required by Jewish Law. 

Simeon and Anna greeted Mary and Joseph, and prophetically announced the arrival of the Messiah, in the unlikely form of this small baby.  As we wait for His coming again, this is particularly an encouragement to the older readers of this blog as you continue in prayer and joyful expectation!

Who was Anna?  We find her in Luke 2 v. 36, and we are told that she had lived with her husband for seven years.  As most girls at that time married at around 14 years old, she was probably a widow at 21.  Luke tells us that she was 84 years old so that would mean she had served in the temple for about 63 years, with fasting and prayer, night and day, demonstrating remarkable spiritual and physical strength.

We are also told that she was from the tribe of Asher.  Before he died, Moses bestowed this blessing on Asher:

“Asher is most blessed of sons … let him dip his foot in oil … As your days, so your strength will be” (Deuteronomy 33 v.24-25) more…

A Christmas Poem

A New Day
Lynda Watson

It is dark outside
No light
No moon
No stars
It is dark outside

In the East the sun is rising
A line on the horizon
The line is racing Westward
Fast approaching

It is dark inside
No light
No mercy
No love
It is dark inside

From on high the light has come
A babe born of Mary
A babe bringing salvation
Mercy and love

A new day has come
Be glad!
Give thanks!
The Light inside

Thoughts on our Craft Days 2021

Two participants write about our recent Meekness and Majesty craft days held in the Craft Studio at HOD in November 2021, preparing for Advent.  The days were led by Janey Petterson, exploring the theme of “Meekness and Majesty”.

From Rosie Emerson:
A wonderfully blessed time of being in the presence of God and hearing him through quiet and through prayer. It was lovely to have some time to be creative and share with others in a safe space
Janey is truly being used by God to bring out deeper thoughts and feelings in order to allow Him to nurture us and assure us of his faithfulness and constant presence and attention to us.  Thank you!
From Sian Robinson:
Working creatively on this retreat was very powerful. I felt there was a parallel process going on between a word that God had given me during the week and the moulding of my crown out of clay. The exercise enabled me to bypass my overthinking mind & it touched my spirit in an experiential way and the word he had given me ‘evolve’ suddenly made sense. The take home message was let go & be expectant & allow things to evolve as we trust God in the now & the future!   Ephesians 3:20  “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
For more craft days coming up in 2022 see Seasons Creative Arts Retreat Days  or the Calendar of Events

Volunteer weekend

Some of our friends and supporters come when they can to help as Volunteers on work weekends and volunteer days which we have occasionally.  Mick Mulvaney came recently and sent us this brief update about the time he had with us….   Sharing this with a few photos.  Thanks Mick!

My wife Marcia and I have always returned home blessed by our visits to the ‘House of the Open Door’, even from a ‘work weekend’!

It is a place that has been soaked in prayer and worship by a community seeking to serve God in whatever ways He reveals. As a result we have found that the Holy Spirit is present in a very tangible way.

Our recent Work-Weekend was made up of a mix of people from around the country engaged in building a bee-house, apple coring and washing, clearing leaves and repainting garden benches. more…

Online Donation

To support our Charity , this website now has an online donation form on our Donate page.

Every contribution from our supporters, large or small, will help our work.  The form can accept regular or one-off donations, and enables Gift Aid and consent for us to stay in touch.

The form is managed by  the Charities Aid foundation through their BACS-compliant CAF donate online giving platform, so donations will be managed securely.  

We continue to be grateful for the prayers, help and contributions we receive from the Charity’s many supporters.

Quiet Painting Days

Creative retreat days using art have provided quiet spaces to reflect on Scripture, be still before the Lord, walk in the lovely grounds and gardens, and paint or use pottery as forms of expression.  The days are not for artists only, but for anyone wishing to invite God to show them their creative side. We are, after all, made in God’s image, and He is our Creator! 

Janey Patterson writes about her recent day on a Quiet Painting Day at HOD…

We were invited to bring our paints and canvases, but as I work with clay, I asked if I could bring some instead of the paints. Margaret, our leader for the day was very gracious and agreed!

There were three of us attending  and it was held in the pottery studio, a wonderful, light and airy space.

When we were given our program, the first line on the paper read,

‘You are seated at the Lord’s table”

Wow! I thought, and I am ashamed to say I don’t think I heard anything after that!

What an amazing concept and my head and heart were busy digesting this and wanting to produce something for His table. I began by rolling out some clay and chose a stamp with branches and indeterminable fruits growing from them. I stamped at pretty random intervals on the clay and as I was smoothing out the clay from underneath to distort the pattern, the Lord said,

“I am the template.”