Pat Marsh is a Christian Writer from Stafford, UK, and has trained in Retreat Leading, Pastoral Listening, Prayer Ministry, and the Healing Ministry
A well respected retreat leader in the UK, Pat lives by faith and has a passion and a gifting for developing biblically based contemplative meditations that bring scripture alive in fresh ways and enable hurting people to connect their life stories with the healing message of the gospels.
She has authored five books in the last six years and won many awards, including the Christian Broadcasting Council’s Gold Award for the Best Christian Poetry Book of 2005. Twice nominated for the International Poet of the Year award, her work has been widely anthologised, used in training materials and broadcast on radio and television. Her current titles are Whispers of Love (Foundery Press, 2003), Silent Strength (Inspire, 2005) and The Gift of a Cross (Inspire, 2005), and she has two other manuscripts in the process of publication. Pat also publishes some of her writing online at patmarshpoetry.blogspot.com
With her deep interest and belief in the power of poetry and meditations to engage with the emotions and to lead to healing, Pat will use her time at Vaughan Park to develop contemporary holistic liturgies that facilitate healing and growth within ecumenical retreat groups. As an outcome of the study, she aims to produce two books: a book of liturgies and an accompanying leader’s handbook.
As a by-product of her residency, Pat hopes to spend time alongside a Certified Poetry and Journal Facilitator, in order to develop her own skills as a facilitator of healing through the process of writing.
Interview with Pat Marsh
"Has the centre been up to your expectations?
In many ways, yes: in other ways, not quite. Actually, one of the things I think I am learning is that it's better to travel simply with openness to God, rather than with expectations, which always come from limited viewpoints anyway.
I had this image in my head that I would wander along the beautiful beach, return to deep peace and stillness and simply let the words pour out of me. And, for a variety of reasons, it hasn't happened quite like that. There has been a far richer variety of people to meet and have conversations with than I could possibly have imagined, and those conversations have enriched and influenced my time here in very positive ways that will, without a doubt, impact my future ministry. The stillness that I had anticipated has been punctuated by 'Godly encounters' that have seemed to be more important.
In other ways, Vaughan Park has far surpassed my expectations. It's superb facilities, amazing location, wonderful hospitality, caring and friendly staff, and deeply important underpinning prayer are a combination that every retreat leader dreams of.
Would you recommend this centre to others?
Wholeheartedly, yes! The use of 'space' and the sensitive development of this site are true models for how a retreat house can 'be'; offering superb hospitality to secular guests whilst retaining intimacy, privacy and a rhythm of prayer for its more conventional retreat guests. The two co-exist happily together at Vaughan Park. These aspects are further enhanced by the high quality of the facilities at Vaughan Park and the attention to detail in the non-intrusive hospitality of the staff. I will certainly be recommending Vaughan Park to others.
Through the unconditional gift of its scholarship programme, Vaughan Park and its team have really modelled Christ to me. Retreats should come with a health warning though: beware, retreats can change your life!"
Anglican magazine June 2010