About Gramarye House
Gramarye is a retreat house and my home. I am always here, but it is the people who come and go, who bring something precious of themselves to the house, and who create a sense of community.
Anyone who comes is part of that community, regardless of how long they stay or how often they come.
I didn't choose the name Gramarye. The word appears in Rudyard Kipling and in T.E. White's 'Sword in the Stone'. Gramarye was Merlin’s land – the place where Merlin taught Arthur, a place of magical transformation!
I hope that you will find, rest, renewal and, yes, maybe, transformation here, and I look forward to welcoming you and sharing a very small part of your journey.
With blessings, Melanie
The house and its setting
The house is on the main street of a small farming village with views and glorious countryside around. It is quiet, there are no street lights and few pavements. Traffic is mainly tractors and horses although there are a few cars that pass through. There are walks across fields, down lanes and into the Quantock hills for guests to enjoy.
The outer environment helps the real focus - our inmost selves, our hearts and souls. There is time and space to nurture them here. As much or little as you want, you are free to relax or explore your connection with yourself and all that is, in whatever way works for you. Join in with the rhythm of the house or do your own thing - agenda free or led/supported. Lie on a sofa, walk, reflect, read or simply sleep.
There is no particular faith agenda and all are welcome regardless of any belief but if you want to see what Gramarye stands for, please see the 'Ethos and Beliefs' page.
Melanie leads individual retreats, some group retreats and provides spiritual guidance.
My approach roughly follows the wisdom and mystical traditions of Christianity which have much in common with other faiths, and crossovers with other spiritual pathways. In the teachings of Jesus I find radical and transformational truth that, for me, offer much more than some of the more narrow interpretations that have been placed on them.
Having juggled life and work as a single parent with a good dose of trauma and struggle en route, I feel I have gathered insights into our human condition which give me a level of wisdom and perception. I studied theology at Oxford University was a full time Church of England priest, and have run retreats and spiritual groups over the last 20 years.
I am inspired by nature, have practiced meditation for decades, love Yoga and find joy in the overlaps between belief systems and practices. My aim is to support the connection and balance between us and the divine, between us and nature, between male and female both inside us and in society.
Our spiritual lives are at the heart of all that we do and are. Sometimes we need reminding of that and need space, flexibility, and creativity to both re-member and heal. It is a great privilege to be able to offer this safe, supportive place for us all to do this in.
Julia co leads, with Melanie, some of the group retreats and runs Yoga days workshops and retreats as well as the monthly early morning devotion - Sadhana.
I have always been interested in ways to support, both physical and emotional, health and wellbeing and am both a teacher and an educational psychotherapist. Through this work, it has become increasingly clear to me that union between the body and mind is essential to growth and healing.
My journey has included an increasing sense of the value of the feminine and its importance in society and in our spiritual lives. Kundalini Yoga aligns with this. I am passionate about the practice and trained as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher. I love the modern application of this ancient science to develop flow and vitality for our whole being and a real appreciation of our personhood."
Lee helps out with techy things - and will even make the occasional bed. He is energetic full of ideas and enthusiastic as well as fun to be around.
Carl is honest, reliable and a problem solver. An invaluable help, he does the maintenance on the house inside and out and keeps it standing.