Redemptorist International Pastoral Centre England

social life

The social life of the participants is a celebrated part of the Hawkstone course, and many participants speak with gratitude of the time of pilgrimage together, or the trip to Scotland, or a visit to London. They also enjoy relaxing weekends and outings. On each course volunteer members from among the participants form a social committee to promote the social life of the course. A staff member acts as a consulter to the committee when it is planning outings, and liaises with a local coach company, which has a number of small buses for hire.

Outside the house

Every Wednesday afternoon is free time during the course, and the participants often visit local towns, such as Shrewsbury or Chester, or go shopping in one of the local village markets. Each weekend, from Friday lunch until Sunday evening, is also free time. Some participants go away for the weekend, but the majority enjoy a day's outing every Saturday, usually to one of the following:

  • The Lake District
  • Wales: Snowdonia and Llandudno
  • The City of York
  • The City of Bath
  • The City of Oxford
  • The City of Liverpool
  • Stratford-on-Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Ironbridge, home of the industrial revolution
  • Theatres in Birmingham and Manchester

In and around the house

Every Sunday, staff and participants enjoy complimentary drinks before lunch and we also have five festive dinners during the life of the course. Concerts, poetry evenings, and fancy dress parties are among the in-house events social committees have organised during previous courses. As well as the organised events there are other resources available to participants:

  • We have a large TV room with over 200 videos for people to enjoy
  • A wide selection of contemporary fiction
  • A small gym equipped with exercise machines
  • The beautiful pleasure gardens surrounding the house
  • Gardening and pottering
  • Hawkstone Park: the second largest natural park in England, with woodland walks, follies, a medieval castle, and caves
  • Hawkstone golf course and an Olympic-size swimming pool at a nearby town.

In the past a number of participants have also shared their own expertise with other participants in, for example, tai-chi, massage, origami, computer proficiency, and playing the piano and violin.

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The National Gallery Horse Guards’ Parade Chester Cathedral Iona Abbey Lake District Scotland York Minster