A Real Island Adventure

27th Mar 2019

Many of you will be able to testify personally to the value of residentials as part of the weekly Group work, and we have a number of Groups who love to use Westbrook on a regular basis. It’s all part of the ‘long walk in the same direction’. We asked Mark Tizzard, from Waltham Chase, to tell us why his Group keep returning to Westbrook and what difference it makes.

“We have been going to Westbrook for a weekend every year for the last 8 years or so, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of the year for many of us who go – young people and adults alike.

“We love the fact that Westbrook is on the Isle of Wight and we get to leave the mainland behind and travel over the water to the island. That short boat trip makes it seem like a real adventure. The welcome we receive when we arrive from the staff is amazing and the house soon feels like home.

“Westbrook is equipped for great youth weekends. There is accommodation over three floors, different sized meeting rooms and a spacious dining room. It means that whatever the size of our Group (and we’ve ranged from 50 to 75 people) it’s worked! It’s a quirky old building with lots of character and we love it. We love the outside too – the swimming pool, the new games room (we recently renamed this the “Laing room” in honour of our great founder – Ed) and the woods. So much to do and explore.

“We have seen young people come to faith, grow in faith and grow into leadership! One young person who has come on the weekend is now studying for a degree in theology and youth work. But we have also seen adults that come on the weekend to help, also grow in their own faith journeys.

Over the years we have seen the weekends have a massive impact on the Group, with the group building a greater sense of belonging and caring for each other. The sense of being part of Urban Saints has also seen the young people turning up at other events wearing their Urban Saints hoodies. Our weekend is made up of a couple of Urban Saints Groups, and young people from a couple of other local churches. This has meant that young people have been encouraged by seeing that their small Group is part of something bigger. A totally unexpected spin off from the weekend has been the establishment of a CU at the local secondary school, run by a group of young people.”

Mark Tizzard
Leader – Waltham Chase

Westbrook has been a happy home for Urban Saints and Crusader residentials for 70 years. It is unsurprising that Westbrook is at is best when it is full of Crusaders and Urban Saints, but we also make a great job of serving church groups, Christian Unions and schools.

Our brothers and sister at Isle of Wight Youth for Christ write of us, “Westbrook is a very special place to us. We have enjoyed many weekends here with groups of young people. The facilities and flexible spaces have provided the perfect venue for us to build connection, explore faith and grow in Jesus together.”

If you are involved in a group who are seeking the Lord with a desire to come together, do call us on 01983 811118. There is so much that can be offered.

Jo Baynham
Impact Team Leader – Westbrook



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