WHO WE ARE
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Whitchester Christian Centre is ideally situated in a secluded oasis in the Upper Teviotdale Valley, whilst also an easy 2 miles away from the Borders town of Hawick, known for its production of top-quality cashmere.
Whitchester is unique in many ways: it is an independent centre, governed by a board of directors, one of whom owns the property and makes it available to the charity as a residential Christian retreat centre. Our ministry centres around welcome and hospitality; providing good home-cooked food, comfortable surroundings, with opportunities and space to rest and encounter God.
We have 10 double/twin rooms and 2 singles, a large lounge, with log fire in the winter months, large dining room, small chapel, snug/shop and a room that can be used for crafting and artwork, or as a smaller meeting room. We also have a small, recently updated library and seating area on the first floor.
Up until the pandemic, our primary guests tended to be church groups, but whilst restrictions were in place and groups could not gather, we have enjoyed welcoming a variety of holidaymakers, individual retreatants, business people and even a group of bikers! Whitchester is the perfect size for a group though and we are glad to be hearing from potential groups again … we’ll just need a few more staff soon!
We were fortunate to secure funding last year which enabled the replacement of the conservatory in January 2022. This will provide guests with a warm place to sit and read, knit, sew, do a jigsaw puzzle or chat (blether in the regional lingo) whilst appreciating views of the gardens and the hills beyond. We have also installed a lift to the first floor, improving access for those finding stairs a challenge, and made over an area of the woodland (snowdrops in February, daffodils in March, bluebells in April/May) to a prayer/mindful garden.
Simon and Amanda Kimberley
We came to Whitchester as deputy wardens in the summer of 2018, and were ‘handed the baton’ the following January.
Married December 1990 and moved to Uganda January 1991, working with a local diocese to provide clean water sources and sanitation in rural areas
Barny born 1995, returned to UK January 1996, Hester born 1997
Simon undertook a PGCE
Moved to Isle of Man in 2000 with Simon’s first primary school teaching post – stayed for 16 years
Did a year at Acorn Christian Healing Foundation completing training in Prayer Ministry and Listening (among others)
We would probably define ourselves as Anglicans, by tradition, but we have attended free/independent, Baptist and Pentecostal churches over the years and are very ecumenically minded. We’ve learned to look for the essential common ground and build from there, rather than pick over the differences. Simon is a big reader and thinker and enjoys apologetics, and studying scripture; Amanda is a contemplative and keen to build on skills to accompany people in spiritual direction.
Who Am I? Where am I going? How am I going to get there?
We attended our first AL workshop in 2014 where Simon discovered his Core Process was ‘Nurturing Potential’ and Amanda discovered hers was ‘Mentoring Support’. Since then, we have maintained a link with our trainer, attended various ‘day 3’s and during lockdown got involved with online courses, assisting as small group leaders. We ran our first AL workshop at Whitchester in March 2020 and are hope to see the workshops become a regular feature in the What’s On section.
For more information see www.authenticlives.org
Our ginger tom, Tigger, a Manx cat (but with a tail), is the only ‘child’ who hasn’t left home! He’s very friendly, and an incessant scrounger – he loves cheese, chicken, tuna, cream etc – and has been known to help himself to the prawns out of a prawn sandwich - you have been warned!
You can book –
Online from this website (using the box on the top right hand side of each page)
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
by telephone on 01450 377477 (use code +44 for international calls)
You can find downloads of our policies here. If you have any questions, or would like to get in touch, please contact us.