A sanctuary & a spiritual spa – a Retreat House with a difference



John 15:5



the opportunity for 1:1 time tailored for you

either Personal Guidance or Spiritual Direction with Penelope

or Leadership Coaching with Kim

or both!



JUNE:   Mon 6, Tues 7, Fri 10, Sat 11, Tues 14, Weds 15.

There is currently still a room available for each of those nights

The Vine is fully booked June 17 - 28.

And then sadly, The Vine will close. So come soon while there is still time!



"I've rarely been able to adjust to the peace of the place so quickly and I'm sure that was due to the efforts and prayers that go into your work. Thanks again."   - G,  June 2015

"It's as good as staying at Downton Abbey - I loved having breakfast brought to my bedside, it was such a treat

and I left feeling I had been pampered  - a real place of refreshment and restoration!"       M.B.,  Dorset

"I still consider the few days I spent with you as the highlight – and saving grace – of last year for me.  

 I LOVED it – both how you did the hospitality with such kindness, and also how God spoke to me so clearly in your beautiful garden when I needed Him the most.          

 I’m still working out the consequences of all He said to me then. Bless you for all you are giving. "       T.O.,  Yorkshire

"I am longing to be back at the best ‘spiritual spa’ that I have ever been to .... refreshed & restored in a short space of time and cannot wait to come again! " S.B., London 


Penelope & Kim Swithinbank              - your hosts

Penelope & Kim Swithinbank              - your hosts

"I simply love your new place, it's quirky and full of stylish character and has a sense of peace in every room. And the sense of God in the Chapel is amazing. I'm now looking forward to bringing my house group!"   H.W, Stamford

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the most special of retreats. This really is a wonderful place of God. I will be back with my hubby. Thank you, Penelope." S.W., Kent

"Thank you Penelope to you and and Kim for such a wonderful, refreshing weekend. Your home, and the atmosphere you create within it, is quite special and full of God's healing presence. Hope to be able to come back again some time"  D.J., London 

"You've created an incredible home - for others. That gives those of us who benefit a lot to think about. Bless you and thank you." M.H., full-time Christian worker.


The Vine at Mays Farm is a Retreat House with a difference. With only 5 individually furnished bedrooms, it is intimate and never too busy. Everything is tailored to you, and your needs to get away and meet with God.

Because our daily lives are typically filled and busy, The Vine offers you the much-needed opportunity to step away from the noise of the world and take some time to be refreshed, renewed, rested - recharged! Think of us as an oasis; a place of spiritual sanctuary for renewing your relationship with the One who is The True Vine  (John 15:4) 

"Stepping into Mays Farm must be like stepping into heaven." MB, local resident

While you are here, you will be in your own ensuite room and also have use of the old chapel, pretty sitting room, gorgeous library, sunny morning room – and, depending on the weather, the gardens and walled orchard. Breakfast is served in your room so that you can sleep, rest, read, pray, take time to BE.  During the day you can join in with the regular daily rhythm of prayers in chapel if you would like to; and private sessions of Spiritual Direction/one-on-one guidance and prayer are available.  And lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner are served too of course - with the emphasis on healthy delicious local produce and fruit from our orchard and so on. In winter there are log fires indoors; in the summer there is a courtyard with table and chairs, and a hammock and lots of deckchairs in sunny spots around the grounds. If you have never been on a retreat before there is help and guidance if you would like it as to how you might make the most of your time here.  Our aim is for you to feel that this has been an important part of your journey of faith – time away with the Lord, in a special place.

Our prayer is that you will take time while you are here to remember how to “remain in The Vine” as Jesus said (John 15)  and that by the time you leave you will be saying “surely the Lord is in this place.” (Gen 28:16).

"I just wanted to thank you so much for the stay at The Vine, I really loved it. I think you've got something really special there – the place just exudes peace and warmth, and I felt at home the second I walked through the door. The chapel is a particularly lovely space. God spoke to me very clearly whilst I was in there, staring at the gorgeous painting on the wall. I really liked the smell of the chapel – I know that might sound odd! But the smell of the wood and the wax candles was very comforting. I loved the little room I stayed in – Cambridge – but I've all of the rooms I peeped into, I think Virginia is my favourite. It's beautiful. The food you prepared was delicious and breakfast in bed was such a treat." RJ, FEBA


Mays Farm is also Penelope & Kim Swithinbank's home and they love to welcome individual guests and groups who need time and space to reflect, study and pray. Their hope is that you will feel at home in their home and find a place of spiritual sanctuary and rest. Penelope & Kim are there to serve you and help you to make the most of your stay.

Penelope organises regular themed retreats, some walking, some silent, some for particular groups. But for most of the time The Vine is available for you to come and relax - to rediscover the person God intended you to be - to put the sparkle back into your eyes! For a Re:FRESH Re:NEW Re:TREAT.

Come and enjoy some time out from the busyness of every life and the opportunity to recharge your batteries.

Penelope is a trained spiritual director as well as an ordained Anglican priest, and individual sessions of Spiritual Direction are available (please book in advance if possible).


'Nonplussed Nick' now has a clearer vision as to what a retreat may be - though as ever the Swithinbanks offer something out of the ordinary! May the Lord truly bless this venture … and may the Vine be truly fruitful in every aspect - God gives the increase. NM, Norfolk


I had a wonderful time - in a bubble of peace! It feels a 'sacred space'.  - JC, Devon



Bookings can be for individuals or for groups, such as staff teams, home groups and others.


If you should happen to look for Mays Farm on a map and notice that there is an airfield behind us - please know that it is disused! NO planes - but a brilliant place for joggers and for walks when the countryside is slippery with mud.

The Vine at Mays Farm is the main ministry of Ministries by Design (Charity Number 1151251) . To find out more about the wider work of this ministry click here.  

The Vine at Mays Farm, 25 The Street, Hullavington, Wilts SN14 6DP Tel:01666 838332