Revisiting our recent house church weekend away for this post
We met in these lovely oast houses in East Sussex
I have been here before so I knew what to expect
a great Christian Retreat Centre
Hops were grown throughout the area some decades ago and the oast houses were where the hops were dried.
The funnels at the top swing round (like a weather vane) to catch the direction of the wind
With modern technology these oasts are now not needed so they are dotted around Kent and East Sussex and used for many different purposes
Our lovely meeting area
see two of the oasts in the background
These two were used as bedrooms.
The door above is where the hops would have been poured in
The doors into the dining room
a better view of the oasts here
you can see how they have been joined together to form the current accommodation
the other side of the dining room
Below is a copy of a report that I wrote for our church website
Mid-September found our house church enjoying another weekend away together, this time in the beautiful Oast House in Northiam, East Sussex, with an expectancy of further deepening our relationship with God and each other.
We were blessed in every way with very tasteful and comfortable accommodation in a converted oast house, with more than enough excellent food and great hospitality in a peaceful and restful location. For those who took advantage, I must not forget the heated indoor swimming pool and tennis courts.
As in the past, Friday evening was a time of settling in and relaxing together. These times are important as everyone unwinds after a busy week and gives opportunity for quality time in each other’s company. Saturday morning and evening were times of worship, prayer and sharing while the afternoon was set aside for folk to rest, swim, walk or visit further afield as they wished.
As seems to be the norm, on Sunday morning the pace seems to intensify as everyone is aware that we are nearing the end of our stay. We had a great time of encouraging each other in our various gifting’s and speaking words over each other’s lives.
Our leader Peter shared on the subject of ‘Hope and Joy’ Romans 15:13 and Hebrews 6:19, leaving us with the following questions, the call on our lives being to welcome Jesus into all situations:
1. What affects our Hope?
2. What do we believe about God?
3. Do we really believe who we are in Christ?
4. How do we see others? Are we honouring and encouraging each other?
5. What do we believe about our circumstances?
6. Are we going to live life as over comers as hopelessness is not from God?
As our time drew to a close, the same subject (freedom) came up as it did at the end of our last weekend away together last year.
I personally questioned in my heart why this subject was coming up again, were we not living in freedom? We certainly have moved on in a measure of freedom but the fear of man still hangs around.
It led me to thinking, what is freedom, believing that is was something we all need to seek God about. As with everything freedom misused has it’s dire consequences. It does not give us permission to just do what we like, when we like. However real freedom, in and under Christ, is liberating for ourselves and others.
So to wrap up, freedom is not just doing what we like but knowing that we are free in Christ to hear God’s voice and do the things that He wants to do through us as he empowers us with His Spirit.
Being one of the last to leave the building it was a real privilege and honour to have the opportunity to pray for those that run the centre and seeing how pleased and grateful they were, as were we when they prayed for us before our first meal together.