Faith and the Future of the Countryside

23–27 September 2019 (Mon–Fri)

This conference will explore the rapidly changing face of the countryside in England and the role that the Church can play in shaping it. Drawing on the experience and insights of the delegates, it will provide an opportunity to think together about a wide range of rural subjects, including the environment, agriculture and leisure. In addition there will be input designed to offer spiritual refreshment for the participants.

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“The welcome is always warm and friendly – it feels like coming home.” — A recent guest
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Who's speaking?

Bishop Alan Smith

Alan Smith is the Bishop of St Albans. He first came to Lee Abbey in 1984 as a Chaplain following his curacy in Pudsey. After this he became Diocesan Missioner and Vicar in the Walsall Team Ministry in the Diocese of Lichfield. In 1997 he became the Archdeacon of Stoke-upon-Trent and five years later was consecrated Bishop of Shrewsbury. He was chair of the Shropshire Strategic Partnership from 2006-2009 and was a member of the Rural Bishops’ Panel from 2006-2009. He was translated to the See of St Albans in April 2009. Since entering the House of Lords in 2013 he has spoken on a wide range of subjects including rural affairs, housing, welfare and the economy. He is President of the Rural Coalition, a grouping of twelve rural organisations all of which are committed to a living and working countryside. He is a vice president of the Local Government Association. His books and writings include: Growing up in Multi-faith Britain: Explorations in Youth, Ethnicity and Religion (2007), God-Shaped Mission: A Perspective from the Rural Church (2008), and Saints and Pilgrims (2013). He co-authored The Reflective Leader (2011) and was joint editor of Faith and the Future of the Countryside (2012). From 2009 to 2011 he was joint chairman of the Anglican Methodist Working Party which produced the report Fresh Expressions in the Mission of the Church (2012). Among his hobbies are theatre, gardening, walking and skiing. He has recently become the Episcopal Visitor of the Lee Abbey Movement.

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What to expect

Wondering what it will be like to stay at Lee Abbey for a retreat or holiday?

You’ll get a warm welcome from the Community, a pleasant place to sleep, tasty meals, space inside and out to relax, teaching, worship and entertainment. For more about Lee Abbey’s ministry in general or to support us, see “About Lee Abbey”. If you have any questions, please get in touch.


Fully refurbished in 2016, comfortable and welcoming

Rooms to meet and relax

Spaces around the house for you to unwind, chat, learn and worship

Our great outdoors

280 acres of Exmoor coast and beach, for walks, sport and even stargazing

Meals and special diets

Three meals a day, tea, coffee and cake are included for all guests.

Teaching and worship

There'll be sung worship and talks you can join each morning if you like

Workshops and activities

The Community will offer prayers, walks and entertainment for you

Families and children

On family holiday weeks, they'll have a whale of a time too!

Pastoral support

We would love to listen to and pray with you during your stay

Prices and practicalities

The nitty-gritty - prices, discounts, directions, disability access and more

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Lee Abbey Fellowship is a registered company in England and Wales, number 4428897, registered address Lynton, North Devon EX35 6JJ and a registered charity in England and Wales, number 1094097, registered address Lynton, North Devon EX35 6JJ.
We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children & adults and expect all who join Community to share this commitment.
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