Retreat for Women in Ministry

Rest and spend time with other women in ministry at Viveka Gardens retreat place in Mid Devon. This is hosted by Fiona Law pioneer at her place of encounter with seekers. This retreat is for ordinands, curates, deacons, priests, LLMs, licensed and non-licensed pioneers…and any other woman in Christian ministry who needs rest and co-support.

With a relaxed rythym over this four-day-three-night retreat, each participant shares a 90-minute practice, workshop or talk from their mission. It might be body-mind-soul, or landscape-based to make the most of Viveka’s resources (yoga studio and land), or with another creative/playful or liturgy focus. In addition, you may like to offer a simple morning or evening contemplation.

Tina came on a regular retreat day and said, ‘The yoga retreat was a new venture for me – I was an almost complete newbie at yoga – but I found Fiona a gentle, compassionate teacher, eager to serve, and I felt embraced in the love of the Divine through this day of paying attention to my body and listening to what might arise through the exercises in terms of hearing what God wanted to show me. As it happened it was 36 hours later when real revelation came, but I’m sure that all I received at Viveka Gardens made it easier for me to tune into the Holy Spirit, and I feel really grateful for this time. I will be back!!!’ Revd Tina Hodgett, Sherbourne, Church Mission Society

We follow a light rule and make a community for this moment in time. The suggestion is we practise silence from end of evening session til after morning worship.

All in all, it’s a chance to expand into rest, explore vocation and share the joys and woes of ministry together. Viveka Gardens is a liminal place, nowhere-ish geographically, utterly rural and in tune with the rhythms of nature. There is time and space to escape to hammocks, lying in the grass, comuning with trees and walks on the quiet lanes here.

Last year this was run as a Pioneer Retreat weekend, and this builds on the sharing good practice of long established retreats for yoga teachers (Fiona is a yoga teacher).

Read more about VG and Fiona

The accommodation is shared in two lofty converted barn spaces.

Go to the accommodation pages and instagram page to see what it’s like here at Viveka Gardens. Fiona is a good vegan home cook and you can look forward to wholesome and tasty food. Please respect the vegan diet here.

Getting here

Amazing pioneer retreat weekend!! Fiona was a superb host, made us feel really relaxed and welcome from the moment we arrived and the food (all cooked from scratch by Fiona) was absolutely delicious!! The programme was flexible and allowed room for creativity and spontaneity which created a lovely collaborative space in which we each felt valued and encouraged. Went home feeling fully recharged and inspired. Thank you, can’t wait to come again! Nicky Pybus, Weston, pioneer role B&W

A calm and safe space has been created by Fiona at Viveka Gardens. It has been a place for me to get to know and care for my mind, body and soul (spirit). Through yoga, guided meditations, journaling and making time to stop, I have been able to open myself up to the spirit of God. I’ve encountered God in a new and authentic way, no external agendas, just me, Spirit and space to process. Learning, then practising yoga and meditation for myself  has been such a positive experience. My faith has been renewed and strengthened in a life changing way. Sharon Matthews, Bristol, informal pioneer

After our 2 days and 2 nights of mother-daughter retreat, I felt nurtured and tended to amidst the complexities of ministry and motherhood. I particularly appreciated the language Fiona used to offer daily Jesus-centred meditation and yoga practice. The mix of serious yet playful spirituality enabled all of us to gain insights and reflect gently together with humour. Thank you, Fiona, for holding that balance wisely and for allowing us to ‘just be’ ourselves as a group. Revd Lucy Bolster, Poole (who came on a bespoke retreat)

I enjoyed a beautiful Yoga Nidra class where I entered a deep relaxed state. Fiona is skilled at leading people through the physical and meditative exercises. Highly recommended. Olivia Shone, Bath, pioneer


August 2 -5 2024

4-day-3-night retreat

stipendiary/household income £40k+ £395

reduced cost if self-funded £345 (and household income under £40k)

Viveka Gardens is keen to make yoga available to all – bursaries for those on benefit/low income Please contact to discuss

This retreat is at a reduced price to reflect a collegiate sharing of the container. I’m looking for the least amount of faffing, dear colleagues, so do secure your place with £200 non-returnable deposit and pay the balance four weeks before the retreat. Max six participants.


schedule a chat

Schedule can be shifted about by the group, depending on offerings. We sort it together on first evening.

day 1
Arrival from 2pm
4.00 gentle yoga practice to land and embody
6.00 supper
7.00 intro/tour Viveka Gardens
8.00 contemplative compline
10pm silence

day 2
7.00 meditation/morning prayer or similar
8.00 breakfast
9.00 – 10.15 session 1, then break
11.30 session 2 
1.00 lunch
4.00 session 3
6.00 supper
7.30 meditation walk or campfire storytelling 10pm silence

day 3 as Saturday with maybe a Dartmoor walk or seaside/river trip after lunch

day 4
7.00 meditation and Celtic Morning Prayer or similar
8.00 breakfast
9.00 – 10.15 session 6/7, then break
11.30 closing circle
12.00 lunch, closing worship and departure

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