Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs apply mainly to individual bookings (programme events and private retreats). See the groups section for details about booking as a group.

Confidentiality and House Rules

Please remember that in making a booking you have signed up for the Rules of our House. Even if they are not important for you, they might be essential for your neighbour - please respect them.

Confidentiality is a core commitment in our ministry implemented at many levels. Information about guests is shared among the Sheldon team only as far as necessary to maintain a high standard of safety and care. Information is only shared outside the team in the following circumstances.

  • With your GP or other health care professional, or your spouse or next of kin when you have given your verbal consent for us to do so.
  • Without your consent if we believe that your life or the life or welfare of someone else is at risk.
  • Team members may use external supervision but your details would remain anonymous. [return to top]

Arrival, departure and room vacation times

Important: Please arrange to arrive between the times shown in "arrival window". We expect everyone to arrive in time for the start (or orientation/introduction) for the event unless arranged otherwise in advance. Late arrivals disrupt the group, mean you miss out on important information, and they also cause a lot of extra work for our team. Thanks for your help with this.

Unless otherwise specified on your booking, standard times are

  • private retreats
    • arrival between 3pm and 8pm
    • departure by 10am
  • programme events
    • led retreat arrivals 3pm - 5pm (latest)
    • Sunday night arrivals usually 6pm - 8pm (supper at 8pm. latest arrival 8pm for 12,000-mile service weeks)
    • Workshops normally start at 9.30am and finish at 4.30pm
    • departures by10am

Our office is normally closed for Community prayers 5 - 5.15pm.
Guests on workshops, led retreats and 12,000-mile Service weeks must arrive by the latest time given. We reserve the option not to allow guests to join an event that is already underway.
Please allow at least 30 minutes from Exeter.
If you get here earlier than the earliest time shown your room may not be ready for you.
If you need to arrive later than the time shown this may be possible for guests on private retreats, R5s, workparties or staying the night before a workshop begins, but you must contact us to make arrangements in advance.

Please arrange to be clear of your accommodation by the 'vacate room by' time so we can prepare it for the next guest. Sometimes this will be earlier than the time a workshop ends - this would be shown as 'last event ends at'. It is sometimes possible to stay later than the time given if our booking schedule and staffing allows - please ask 2 days ahead of departure. [ return to top]

Will I get a meal on the first evening?

Yes! If you are staying here then we always assume you will need feeding on the evening you arrive. 

For programme events, our normal supper time is 7pm, but on Sunday evenings (and occasionally other days) it is at 8pm to allow for changeovers and travelling time. It varies from a light but decent buffet to a cooked meal.

For private retreatants with a stocked larder, there will be an evening meal ready for you to heat up in your accommodation. [ return to top]

Rooming, linen and towels

Single people are never asked to share a room. Couples are provided with a double bed unless you request twin. Beds are all 3' wide. All rooms have an en-suite shower or a bath with shower over. Your booking confirmation will tell you what type of room we have reserved for you but we do not guarantee which specific room you will be given, unless this is detailed in the 'special notes' section.

Bed linen and hand towels are provided for all guests

For programme events: please bring your own bath towel (but if you are coming by public transport just ask in advance and we will provide one for you).

For private retreats: Towels are provided. [ return to top]


1:1 appointments are available for people in ministry by prior arrangement and an additional contribution is invited. (On 12,000-mile Service weeks they are included in the event cost and arrangements are made on the Monday.)

Please request massage appointments in advance and we will do our best to arrange. (On 12,000-mile Service weeks they are included in the cost, allocated by lottery and arranged on a daily basis.)

Jacuzzi bookings are made at Reception during your stay. [return to top]

Communications on site

Mobile phones: Mobile reception is poor and erratic. The O2 network has reasonably good reception in most accommodation, but other networks vary. You will be pretty sure of getting signal on any network if you walk up the hill for a couple of minutes.

Free guest WiFi with good speed is available across the site including all accommodation - please ask for the code at Reception.

For an emergency contact number you can give the office 01647-252752 but remember to let Reception know that you wish to be contacted. Unexpected calls will be handled as "I will pass the message to the Warden" but expected calls will be handled as normal messages directly for you. This is to protect the privacy of guests.

A payphone is available and you can receive incoming calls. [return to top]

Facilities and shared resources

Kitchens for private retreatants have an electric hob and microwaves. Most do not have an oven. Domestic fridge with small freezer compartment. A decent selection of crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. Kitchen linen and washing up liquid.

45 acres of grounds including fields and woodlands. We recommend a pair of boots for exploring and have assorted wellingtons available to borrow.

The Labyrinth is available to all resident guests on site. It is a full-size replica of the Chartres labyrinth and is suitable for all weathers.

The local area is excellent for walking and we have maps you can borrow. One of our neighbours has 3-speed bicycles for hire (bring your own helmet).

Social spaces and shared meals are part of programme events but not private retreats. Private retreatants do not have access to any other areas of accommodation. If the Fat Pigeon bar is open, or there is a tea/coffee time in the Loose Box, times will be posted in the chapel stairwell.

You are welcome to join Community prayers which are normally 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday in the upstairs chapel. Times for the week are posted in the chapel stairwell. The medieval chapel is available for private prayer at all times. Linhay Lodge guests also have access to the Sanctuary.

Our Library is stocked with over 1,500 titles broadly covering spirituality and personal development plus a good selection of novels and a few reference books. You are welcome to borrow from the library during your stay but please return all items before you leave. When the Library is booked for a day guest it is closed to other users.

The Jacuzzi is available during office hours. Appointments should be made in Reception on arrival. Bring your swimming costume and towel.

Laundry and drying facilities are available. We also have odd useful items to borrow like hairdryers if you are trying to travel light.

We have an electric vehicle (EV) charging point with a type 2 socket for use of guests (in return for a donation).

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