Holy Rood House
Holy Rood House was opened in Thirsk in 1993 by the Bishop of Whitby, Rt Rev Gordon Bates, as an Ecumenical Residential Therapeutic Retreat and a response to the Churches’ Ministry of Healing. Working closely with the medical profession, it welcomes local people and others from across Britain at a time of need, providing a holistic and professional therapeutic service, within a gentle, inclusive Christian ethos.
The residential community provides safe space for people of all ages and backgrounds whose lives feel unsafe. Working professionally (BACP) with counsellors, psychotherapists, chaplains, spiritual directors complementary and arts therapists, Holy Rood House accompanies people as they work towards their own healing. It welcomes many people from the Diocese of York including groups for training or other meetings. It also offers training in many areas of the healing ministry.
Projects include ‘Care for Carers’ and ‘Getting people back to work’. People may be referred or self-refer. As a charity it works on a donations basis. Holy Rood House is dependent upon the goodwill of those who access these services, as well as churches and grant-making Trusts.
‘The Centre for the study of Theology and Health’ was opened at Thorpe House in 1996 by the former Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope. There is an art gallery, a therapeutic and theological library, creative arts space and conference and training rooms. Holy Rood House enjoys welcoming groups from the Diocese as well as further afield.
Supportive consultants include Professor Brian Thorne, Counselling, Professor June Boyce-Tillman, the arts, Dr David McDonald, psychiatry, Rev David Gamble, Methodist Church, our Vice-Patron Professor Mary Grey, Roman Catholic Theologian and Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Patron.
Over the years Holy Rood House has published books and liturgy and at present have a project called ‘Hymns for Healing’ run by Rev Dr Jan Berry, and supported by the Pratt Green Trust. The services provided are needed more than ever in this rapidly changing society and the in-service training covers asylum issues, mental health issues, cultural issues, sexuality and disability issues that people are experiencing. Holy Rood House is developing its therapeutic provision, building on the experience of spiritual accompaniment of those who have been traumatised, leading to a training module. At present, access is being improved and gradually en-suite facilities are being provided; especially for women who have experienced abuse, and who require their own private facilities. Holy Rood House is seeking ways in which the valuable and unique work can be sustained, as the recession has had an effect. This is something we know all charities are experiencing. It is essential to keep alert to the reasons why Holy Rood House is here – to respond to the vulnerability of individuals and also to be a model for the churches of therapeutic community.
For more information please visit www.holyroodhouse.org.uk