How We Started

How we started written by Carol Spreddie September 1999

Ashburnham Place

On the 10 September 1999 Twelve Female Disciples embarked upon their First Missionary Journey to Ashburnham Place.  Here they would be begin a weekend ‘Prayer and Praise Retreat’ in a little log cabin called the Carpenter’s Lodge.’  Before going any further, allow me to give you a brief history into how this place began.

Ashburnham Place is a Christian retreat, situated in Hastings at the heart of East Sussex.  It is surrounded by 220 acres of landscape, with woods, beautiful gardens and glorious lakes.

The main house, which was the home of the Ashburnham family for over 800 years, was transformed into this wonderful haven in 1960 after many years of indecision.  Reverend John Bickersteth, on inheriting Ashburnham, believed that he could not carry on the heritage of allowing such a wonderful place to simply remain a stately home.  For many years he pondered and sought God’s guidance as to what he should do.  Finally, God gave him the following scripture as an answer, but more importantly as a promise.

The glory of this present house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord oh hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.  Haggai 2:9

Founders group photo

Since then more than 10,000 people have travelled each year from various countries, and experienced the peace and presence of God.  Indeed it would be a futile attempt to try and describe the ambience, the atmosphere, and the very presence of God that can be felt at Ashburnham Place.

This was the venue of our First Ministry Journey and where we all, some for the first time, truly experienced the power of God.

C Spreddie (1999))