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Time Out for Women

Sandra Prime explains the benefits of the retreats for women that we’ve got planned for May – and why she’s looking forward to being there again.

Time Out for Women primary image

During my husband Johnny’s first year as FIEC Associate National Director, I’ve sometimes travelled with him as he’s visited pastors and churches. Meeting women’s workers and pastors’ wives has been a great encouragement to me. However, it has also reminded me of the struggles, fears and anxieties ministry women may experience.

Having served as the wife of a local church pastor, I am aware that ministry life brings both joys and privileges, difficulties and pressures. Serving the Lord Jesus is undoubtedly a privilege, but we can easily become weary, tired and spiritually dry. That’s why the Thrive and Ministry Wives events have been arranged.

In Acts 28, as Paul served our Lord Jesus, he was on his way to Rome. It had been an eventful journey. We read:

“The brothers and sisters [in Rome] had heard that we were coming, and they travelled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.”

It’s hoped that FIEC’s Thrive and Ministry Wives retreats result in those attending thanking God and being encouraged.


I’m glad to have attended the first two Ministry Wives Retreats, and I’m already looking forward to this year’s. The word ‘retreat’ is used deliberately. This isn’t a conference with a packed programme of meetings, seminars, places to be, people to see etc. This is that ‘often longed for opportunity’ for a bit of space away from the normal routine.

in a meeting

The Thrive and Ministry Wives retreats run similar programmes but with particular emphasis on the different needs of those attending. This year, the main speaker at both will be our new Women’s Ministry Co-ordinator, Elinor Magowan, who began working alongside our existing co-ordinator, Elisabeth Smyth, in January. Elinor and Elisabeth will be jointly hosting the events.

I’m looking forward to being refreshed through the teaching of God’s word and through chatting with like-minded sisters in Christ who desire to support their husbands in ministry.

Elisabeth Smyth speaking in a meeting

Time is set aside for individual and small-group prayer, providing a ‘safe’ place to share confidentially with those who care, understand and will pray. I also look forward to renewing old friendships and making new ones, too.

A real treat

The venues for these events are great, and the food is always a real treat. Over the past two years, the weather has been superb!

enjoying fellowship in the sunshine

Thrive, which is held at Charney Manor, Oxfordshire, is for our women’s workers – those who’ve been set apart by their church for word or pastoral ministry. It will run from lunchtime on Monday 13th May until noon on Wednesday 15th May. So, if you’re a women’s worker who is interested in this event but have not received a personal invitation, please get in touch via the contact form on our website (select ‘Women’s Ministry’ from the drop-down list).

The Ministry Wives Retreat, held at Holland House, Worcestershire, is for women married to men who are serving in our churches or are members of FIEC’s Pastors’ Network. It will follow Thrive, starting on the afternoon of Wednesday 15th May, and will end at lunchtime on Friday 17th May. More information about how to book is available on the events page, but hurry – there are just a few places left!

For churches or women for whom cost is a problem, please contact Elisabeth or Elinor to enquire about our bursary scheme.

Sandra Prime photo
Sandra Prime

Scottish born, wife of Johnny, with three grown up daughters. Sandra trained as a nurse and is a homemaker and mum. She sees her role as supporting Johnny in his ministry, while playing a full part in church life using the gifts God has given.