Creative Journeys in Prayer

Friday 20 to Sunday 22 October 2017

The Hayes Conference Centre
Swanwick, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU

This year, we want our festival to be a celebration of the talent that already exists within ArtServe. We pride ourselves on being a creative, mutually supportive community, longing to help each other release our creative gifts so that God may be more fully known and lives transformed.


Join us for a weekend of imagination, discovery, fellowship and prayer

We invite you to come and share your own creative gifts, and experience those of fellow members as we explore together how we may use creativity to deepen our prayer lives and help others to do the same.

We will be asking all who are attending to bring something with them that inspires them to pray – something they will be willing to show to others and talk about in the small groups on Friday evening.

Our weekend will be structured round the theme of a journey and has been planned with three aims in mind:

  • To nourish the creative spirits of all our members, particularly those who find little support or encouragement in their home situation or ministry
  • To enable us to learn from and share with each other in community
  • To come away with something – an idea or an insight – that we can use once we are back in our own churches and daily lives. 


Artist and Board Member Anita Collier will lead us in a creative activity that will give a structure to the weekend. Anita is no stranger to leading sessions at festivals – she is a regular at Spring Harvest where she paints, leads workshops and inspires delegates of all ages. Her work has featured on the ArtServe Facebook page and the cover of the Spring 2016 issue of ArtServe magazine.

Our chaplains for the weekend will be the Revd Nick Young – a longstanding ArtServe member who many of you will know ­– and our Prayer Coordinator, Pauline Munns. 

Nick will lead an (optional) prayer walk on Saturday (weather permitting, this will be in the beautiful grounds at The Hayes), and will also lead our closing worship on Sunday.

Jacqui Hicks and Jo Kay will facilitate a session on using the labyrinth as an aid to worship and there will also be opportunities to discover worship through dance, music, painting and creative writing.

Facilitators include Jo Richards, a member of ArtServe and also of The Christian Dance Network, and Kate Austin, ArtServe member, artist and author.

The programme

Friday 20 October

Arrive at The Hayes from 4.00 pm onwards, to register and settle in your room.

At 5.30, we meet in small groups to get to know each other and share our expectations for the weekend. Everyone will be invited to bring something from home with them – something that inspires them to pray – so that they can show it and share ideas with the other group members.

All groups meet together for dinner at 6.45. After this, Anita will reveal to us what the first stage of our journey will be. There will be time for making music and worshipping together before we disperse to our rooms or to the bar.

Saturday 21 October


We start the day with (optional) morning prayer, followed by breakfast.

After this the day will be divided between sessions for everyone, during which Anita will continue guiding us through our journey of prayerful creativity, and smaller groups where you can choose which creative activities are most helpful for facilitating your own prayer life.

The aim is for everyone to have the opportunity to engage in at least two activities of their choice, so we are asking you to pick four activities and rank them 1–4 in order of preference. This will give us an idea of how to schedule activities in order to allow everyone the best possible experience, and whether some sessions need to be run twice. The earlier we receive this information, the more likely you are to be able to participate fully in your preferred activities. Your options

During the afternoon, we will break for ArtServe’s AGM. After dinner, you will be able to relax and enjoy watching another of our talented members, Su Hallcroft, perform Chosen, her one-woman play about Mary. There will then be a chance to ask her some questions before repairing to the bar.

Sunday 22 October

Once again, optional early morning prayer is followed by breakfast. We then divide into small groups to prepare for the closing worship. After a break for coffee, Sarah Middleton (a trustee of the Methodist Art Collection) will talk about how we might make use of image in worship. There will also be time to finish our creative activities.

The climax of the weekend, our closing worship and celebration, will take place after lunch and we will be ready to depart around 4.00 pm.

Your options

We want to ensure everyone has the best possible experience at this Festival weekend. When you book, please number in order of preference four activities you would like to participate in, with a small group, on Saturday. The options are:


  • Creative writing
  • Making music with instruments
  • Paint and pray
  • Prayer walk
  • Singing
  • Praying with the labyrinth
  • Worship through dance

The sooner you book, the more likely you are to be able to participate fully in your preferred activities.

If you play a musical instrument and would like to participate in the band, please tell us on the booking form which instruments you will be bringing.

The venue

Creative Journeys in Prayer is at:

the_hayes_2013.jpgThe Hayes Conference Centre

DE55 1AU

The Hayes is an ideal, well-equipped Christian conference centre set in beautiful grounds. It offers comfortable modern bedrooms and extensive facilities including a residents lounge, sports facilities, games room, and bar, along with friendly, efficient staff. Complimentary wi-fi is available to all guests.

The Hayes is located in the Amber Valley near the peaceful village of Swanwick and has easy road links, along the A38, to the M1 just five miles away.



The all-inclusive cost of the weekend, including accommodation for two nights and all meals, is £200 per person for a single room or £180 per person for a shared room. All accommodation is en suite.

We would love more younger people to come: much-reduced rates are available for young people up to 19 years of age, and there is no charge for children under five. Discounts can be negotiated for groups. Please download the brochure for further details, or call 01666 824029 or 08456 210410 if you need any help.

You can also attend all or part of the weekend on a non-residential basis as a day visitor.

How to book

The best way is to book online book online. Members, please log in first to save entering your personal details. You can book online even if you pay by cheque.

To book by post please download the postal booking form. Contrary to what it says on the magazine booking form, preferably please send postal bookings to ArtServe membership at 51 Blakehall Road, Carshalton, SM5 3EZ.

We require a deposit of £50 per person at the time of booking, with the balance payable by 30 September 2017. You can pay your deposit by direct bank transfer, by PayPal (using a debit/credit card or your PayPal account), or by cheque. To pay your deposit by PayPal, please complete the online booking form in the normal way and then click the PayPal button on the confirmation screen.

If you wish to pay the total amount at the time of booking that is fine, but please note we aren't offering PayPal as an option for paying the full amount.

Day visitors

Although primarily a residential weekend, you can attend on a non-residential basis for the whole weekend or any part of it. The cost for Saturday only (including lunch and dinner) is just £55. To attend the whole festival as a day vistor (including dinner on Friday evening) costs £125. For full details please download the brochure.

Further information

For further information please contact the festival organiser on 01666 824029 or 08456 210410.


Praying with our bodies – worshipping through dance