Fri, 01 Jul|
North Farm Cottages, Burgh-Next-Aylsham
Tending the Heart: Grief, Gratitude and Beauty. A 4-day community retreat with Sophy Banks
You are warmly invited to join us for a journey of grief tending in community with cultural pioneer and healing practitioner Sophy Banks and support team.
Time & Location
01 Jul, 15:00 – 04 Jul, 14:00
North Farm Cottages, Burgh-Next-Aylsham, Norwich NR11 6TW, UK
About the event
As well as giving loving attention to our wounds, we will also be celebrating the strong bonds of community that arise when we come together in this way, and the spontaneous joy that so often accompanies this deep work.
We will be meeting in the beautiful setting of North Farm, in Burgh, near Aylsham, surrounded by nature. There are various accomodation options, depending on your budget, including camping by the stream next to the barn.
We would be grateful if you would answer the fairly in-depth questions in the registration form here, to help us in preparing for the day and supporting you on this journey. When you complete this form we will send you details of how to make your payment as well as a link to a group agreement.
We are asking participants to pay for accommmodation up front (£45, £60 or £120), plus an £80 fee to reserve your place. We will then be inviting further contributions during the weekend itself, and we are suggesting between £140 and £330 (£220 to £410 in total plus accommodation).
Please have a look at the guidelines here in considering the level of financial gift you would like to offer, and please don't hesitate to get in touch if the suggested amount is a problem for you, as we don't want finances to be a barrier for anyone who feels called to join us.
Who is it for?
If you're experiencing current grief for bereavement, health issues, life changes; grief for the natural world, for the destruction of what we love, and for future generations; or if your grief is stuck or frozen – you are welcome.
You may be seeking to heal or address long-term grief passed down through families and culture; or simply to deepen your relationship with grief as a force for personal and cultural transformation and healing. That's all fine too.
For many there is nowhere to take intense feelings of grief without being judged or shut down, and it can take a lot of energy to keep them in – sometimes contributing to burn out, and worse.
Whether it be wild rage, profound sorrow, paralysing fear, deep emptiness, or other subtle shades of feeling, whatever needs to be voiced, moved, or expressed in some way – it is welcome here.
The Shape of the Retreat
Connecting together in the strength of the circle, we will draw on the power of what is beautiful, loving and supportive – in the human and beyond human realms.
Working with group practices designed to be accessible to people with a wide range of spiritual beliefs, or none at all, we will build strong banks of support and safety. As we do so, we slowly allow ourselves to touch-in on the troubles of our individual and collective soul.
As we move into deeper waters, held in ceremony, and in the sacred space of our pop-up village, the energy of our humanity in its myriad forms can begin to flow more freely. We will conclude our journey with a time of soothing, grounding and integration.
As unexpressed emotions come into the light we can find this connects us more fully with our compassion, our love, our courage and our joy. And so it will also be a celebration of sorts, as we share circle time together, experience the land in its full summer vibrancy, and feast on delicious vegetarian and vegan food.
Venue and Accommodation
We'll be meeting in the wonderful setting of North Farm, in Burgh, near Aylsham. The hall is a spacious converted barn, surrounded by natural beauty. It has been the container for many a deep dive into this territory of tending our grief in community, playing an important part in helping us create a safe and sacred space.
Here are the accommodation options:
- £120 for 3 nights in a single room in the cottages at North Farm.
- £160 for the shepherd’s hut, for one person or a couple.
- £60 sharing, or £75 for sole occupancy of a basic twin rooms.
- £45 (or £60 if in a campervan) camping in a beautiful meadow beside a stream.
- You're welcome to organise your own accommodation, or travel in if you live nearby.
There's a nearby Airbnb house for 4 guests (£140 per person) or 5 with two sharing a twin room (£70 each) we could book if there are enough takers. This is 25 mins walk away, or a short car ride. Please let us know asap if you're interested.
Food and Catering
The event will be fully catered, offering a mix of vegan and vegetarian options. You will be invited to contribute to some gentle kitchen tasks - chopping veg and washing-up can be very grounding!
Sophy’s eclectic life has been guided by an overarching question: why do humans create so much unintended suffering, and how can we stop? She has looked for answers in the worlds of engineering, grassroots football, psychotherapy, social movements for change and more.
Sophy has been leading grief workshops for many years, seeing the power of shared grief tending spaces to transform and heal. She worked for 10 years for the Transition movement, training people around the world in positive community based responses to global crises of world-view, environment and social justice.
Sophy lives in Devon, where she grows food and friendships, and can still just about get up the hills on her bike. You can read more about her work here.
Here's a recording from the 'As Temperatures Rise' podcast, of Sophy speaking on the theme 'What Makes a Healthy Culture?'
Sophy's understanding of the importance of grief work started through attending workshops with Joanna Macy, and later with Maeve Gavin. She has also been deeply informed by the work of Sobonfu Some and Malidoma Some, and their teachings from the Dagara people in Burkino Faso. Other key influences include Martín Prechtel and Francis Weller.
"Shared practices that enable us to express and be heard in our grief provide a pathway for coming into right relationship. This work of surfacing, witnessing and making meaning of our pain is crucial to transforming the systems of harm that abound in our world. It is how we create healthy relationships -- with ourselves and each other, with marginalised groups and with the living systems of the planet." – Sophy Banks
Testimonials from November Norfolk workshop with Sophy
The day was crafted with integrity and intention, inviting safety, respect, connection, compassion, playfulness, strength, courage and wisdom... For anyone thinking of embarking on this journey I would say, "Trust yourself and the alchemy of grief tending. Allow yourself into the river, trusting it will take you to the place you most need to reach. Be open to a certain grace holding you, woven by the hearts of those journeying with you. And your own." – Sarah Durrant
The gentle holding of the space by the team was pretty darn perfect, and the subtle back up support you all provided to the main facilitator allowed personal emotional work to be deep and flowing. Beautiful and effective structure to the whole day, expertly held by Sophy Banks. Subtle lessons learnt on how to facilitate, and personal barriers broken down, allowed me to deepen my own work. I couldn't recommend either Sophy Banks and her work, or Liz and the Norfolk Grief Tending team more highly. – Michelle
Feel free to contact Liz on 07951 928877 / email@example.com.
If you can't make it for this event but would like to be kept informed about future events, please sign up to our email list here.
“Grief permeates life and grieving can take many forms, but grief can never be outrun or simply thought away, transcended or meditated into non-existence. Necessary grief when shunned or unattended can easily hide for years, even generations, in the skeletal structure of the family collective psyche. Like light, matter, sound and energy, grief will eventually manifest even among those in the future who did not consciously experience the loss.”
– Martín Prechtel (The Smell of Rain on Dust)
Picture by Rob Barnes - www.robbarnesart.co.uk
Reservation + Room in Cottage
The total for this ticket is £202, which includes £80 to reserve your place, plus £122 for 3 nights in a single room in one of the cottages at North Farm. We are suggesting a further contribution of between £140 and £330 payable during the weekend. (£220 to £410 in total plus accommodation). Please get in touch if this is a problem.
Reservation + Shepherds Hut
The total for this ticket is £240, which includes £80 to reserve your place, plus £160 for 3 nights in the Shepherds Hut. Payment details will be sent in your confirmation email. We are suggesting a further contribution of between £140 and £330 payable during the weekend. (£220 to £410 in total plus accommodation). Please get in touch if this is a problem.
Reservation + Basic Twin Room
The total for this ticket is £140, which includes £80 to reserve your place, plus £60 for 3 nights in on of the basic twin rooms. Payment details will be sent in your confirmation email. We are suggesting a further contribution of between £140 and £330 payable during the weekend. (£220 to £410 in total plus accommodation). Please get in touch if this is a problem.
Reservation + Tent / Non-Res
The total for this ticket is £125 (for a tent), £140 (for a campervan) and £80 for the non-residential option. Payment details will be sent in your confirmation email. We are suggesting a further contribution of between £140 and £330 payable during the weekend. (£220 to £410 in total plus accommodation). Please get in touch if this is a problem.
Reservation + Stapleton Farm
Yurt or basic chalet at nearby Stapleton Farm (10 minutes drive away) costing £90. Bring own bed linen and towels. To share or sole occupancy (please specify on registration form). The total is £170, which includes £80 to reserve your place. We will be asking for a further contribution of between £140 and £330 during the weekend, so that'll work out as £220 - £410 in total plus accommodation. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if this suggested amount is a problem for you.