What others are saying about The Shepherd's Hut...
I arrived at the Shepherd’s Hut so weary-hearted and yearning for a place to gather my scattered soul. I knew before I even stepped into the hut that this was the place. The calming soft colours immediately soothed and welcomed. Chris invited me to make myself at home and pointed me to all I might need, then slipped away leaving me to pull off my shoes and settle in an armchair by the warmth of the little stove. Outside the wind caused the bare branches of trees to bend and sway, and the winter’s light flickered and shifted. I felt embraced. The very atmosphere communicated the gentleness of Divine Love, and I sank gratefully into it. How did I spend my time while I was there? I can’t really tell you. I read a little, prayed a little, did a couple of sketches. But mostly I just rested in that atmosphere, gazing out the wide windows across the quiet streams of the source of the Tyne, watching the light shift and change. It is a soulful space, newly-created yet somehow feeling as if it has always belonged there. I met with God that afternoon and my soul was satisfied.
The Shepherd's Hut is a place that draws you in and makes you want to stay for as long as possible. I arrived on a cold winter day, but inside it was toasty warm. I sat down in one of the comfy armchairs, put on some slippers and immediately felt at home. It was such a wonderful place just to sit and chat with a friend in the presence of God. There is something about the atmosphere that makes you feel able to share from the heart and also to receive. It’s a place of rest where you can be open with God and with yourself. Book yourself in for an extra half hour than you originally planned, because you’ll not want to leave!
The Shepherd’s Hut reminds me of the invitation to discover deep rest for the soul; to find refuge from the chaos of the world and silence amidst the noise of everyday comings and goings. A short while inhabiting this place and drinking in the surrounding beauty leads to the utter relief of shedding the burdens we all carry and to surrendering the grip we have on our daily lives. Nestled beside the riverbank, the heart of the weary pilgrim is calmed by the flowing water, charmed by playful squirrels and awake to the love and affection of God, the One who leads us all with a whisper towards His loving embrace. In this thin place, I discover something of the heart of the Father. I hear Him calling softly to the broken places and thirsty spaces within. He’s longing to revive and refresh us, to turn the soil and tend to the garden. He longs to see us flourish--hearts alive--lost in wonder, love and praise. The Shepherd’s Hut is a space that wonderfully yet humbly plays host for rich encounters and reminds me of the unbound joy found in simply being.
For me, the Shepherd's Hut is an outward expression of an inward longing. It's a place that has been crafted with care. A place where each detail has been thought of, from the seating to the slippers, from the wall colours to the wood chippings.
Stepping into the space for the first time, it awoke a desire in me to spend that much care crafting my own 'inner shepherd's hut'. The place I dare to believe that Gods Spirit dwells…..my very own heart. The East Mountain team have created a physical space here to rest in God. I pray each visitor is inspired to take the essence of it home with them into their everyday ordinary lives.
Singer-Songwriter Bob David Bell recorded a beautiful rendition of this well-known Psalm in the Shepherd's Hut. It captures perfectly the feeling of the space and what we hope to offer in it.
Check out more of Bob's music here.
A few photos to prepare you for what awaits you in the Shepherd's Hut