Epiphany House – ‘a heaven of peace and calm in what can be a very troubled world’

Epiphany House – ‘a heaven of peace and calm in what can be a very troubled world’

It’s a cold frosty morning in late January 2009 and I am to attend a meeting with representatives from local NHS and Social Services departments at a venue I have never heard of in Truro – Epiphany House. Where is it? What is it? And will I find it?!

Finally, after driving up, down, through and around a housing estate, I see a small blue sign that reads Epiphany House. As I drive up the long driveway that leads to a majestic building, of which I am in awe of, with what looks like a Chapel on the first floor? No. Never. It can’t be surely?!

As I enter the front door, a shiver goes down my spine. Then a warm feeling fills my whole body, mind and soul, just like somebody is giving me a huge hug, a feeling of peace and calm which remains with me until I leave the building.  

How can a building have such an impact on me? Why? And what has gone before to create such an atmosphere? I am intrigued and want to find out more.

In July 2011, I am blessed with an opportunity to be able to become a Volunteer at the house two mornings a week. After several weeks of ‘getting to know’ the house, the Team and the piles of ironing, which never appeared to lessen, even after hours of ironing by myself and others, I am asked to ‘sort out the office’! And so my strength of organising begins, from piles of papers to neat files in filing cabinets, the introduction of policies, procedures, risk assessments, staff training, event booking systems, covid precautions etc etc transpire. Finally, after 10 years of hard work, fun, laughter and the odd tear, the Epiphany House ‘office’ is complete!

From those early days in 2011, I knew that Epiphany House was where I was meant and wanted to ‘be’. I was asked to become a paid employee in late 2011, first as an Administration Assistant, then Administration Manager, Operations Manager and, latterly, Operations Director. However, my role at the house has never been ‘just a job’ – more of a vocation. Without wishing to sound too dramatic, its been my ‘calling’, to ‘serve’ those visiting the house, reaching out to those who, like me, have never heard of Epiphany House, treating them all the same, whether they may be a delivery driver from Amazon or the Bishop of Truro, I, like all who are fortunate enough to be part of Team Epiphany, strive to welcome Visitors as though they were Christ ‘Hospites tanquam Christus subscipiantur’

I was taught by my beloved Father that I should always ‘strive to treat others as I would wish to be treated, and in an unjudgemental and respectful manner’. This, together with the scripture above the fireplace in our meeting room, Godrevy, is what I consider to be the good practice of a hospitality venue. If, together, Team Epiphany and I provide this, we shall be practising God’s ‘work’ in providing hospitality to our neighbours, local community and beyond, welcoming both returning and new Guests to what is, undoubtably a very special place, ‘a heaven of peace and calm in, what can be, a very troubled world’.

Jane Lowndes / Operations Director

Connect Art Group

Connect Art Group

Peace at Epiphany

On Monday 21st March the CONNECT art group from Holy Trinity Church, St, Austell spent a wonderful afternoon at Epiphany House.

The group is very much about fellowship in faith, using art as one way of expressing this. This was our first outing and proved to be the perfect place for it.

After a warm guided tour by Jane, we were able to meditate on psalm 46 v 10 in the chapel, a blessed experience.

At the end of the afternoon, we were treated to tea and an amazing Victoria sponge made by Debbie!

I feel sure the this will not be our last visit to Epiphany House!

Jane Wingrove (Group coordinator )

Welcome to the Operations Director

Welcome to the Operations Director

Those of us who have known Epiphany House over the years have been struck by the way the ‘right person’ emerges to meet a need at the ‘right time.’ Some may attribute this to Providence, some have seen it as the working of the Holy Spirit, others might dismiss it as coincidence. We are fortunate indeed to have Jane Lowndes on the Team and I am delighted to report that she has accepted the invitation to take on an enhanced role in the organisation as Operations Director, a role she started on 1st January.

Her commitment to the welfare of the staff team is apparent. She has frequently acted as a sensitive welcomer to users of the House, whether they are attending receptions after funerals or birthdays or if they are attending meetings or training events or inquests. Many volunteers will have seen Jane’s skills when they help out in the house or at the large-scale events that take place in the grounds – whether it’s a fully catered wedding reception in a marquee on the forecourt, or for the site transformation that happens when Miracle Theatre bring their shows to Truro!  

Jane’s commitment to the future of Epiphany House as a thriving Conference & Retreat Centre is undoubted. The Trustees hope that a new chapter has begun, consolidating the achievements of recent years and responding to new opportunities.

Michael Tedder Chair of The Trustees

The Tuesday Team

The Tuesday Team

The Epiphany Team grows in numbers daily. People discover the house and its grounds on a walk which takes them through the beautiful grounds of the house or by word of mouth.

Our Tuesday group come along and together work to achieve great and marvellous things in the garden or the Chapel, maintaining, nurturing and caring for both, and there’s always a great supply of hot drinks and biscuits to keep all going!

One of the team, Chris comes along and helps in the garden mostly on Tuesday however when the sun shines he can be seen throughout the week keeping the grounds looking beautiful and preparing the ground in our veg patch, Chris has this to say about his time with us;

After moving to the Kenwyn area a few years ago my wife and I often walked or cycled through the grounds of Epiphany House, enjoying the beauty and tranquillity. Sometimes we would stop and chat with voluntary workers, on retirement I thought it would be good to help maintain such a lovely local resource.

After joining the gardening team, I realised how many people enjoy Epiphany House in so many ways: from dog walking, cycling, sitting, and contemplating, to sharing in worship, craft and other activities.

For me too there is enjoyment in maintaining and improving the surroundings, and in helping towards growing provisions that can be used in the house.

It has been so nice to become part of a small but dedicated team. I have made new friends with other volunteers, the staff, and people who use Epiphany House and grounds on a regular basis. It is a privilege to help preserve such a special place and see it becoming an integral part of our community.

Chris

March’22

Our Tuesday House Group writes:

We are a small group who meet at Epiphany House every Tuesday morning from 10am – 11.45am, most of us live alone and welcome the friendship and support of the group.

During our time together we care for the beautiful Chapel in the House after which we sit have coffee and a chat, we value this time spend with one another each week.

Some of the group stay and attend the weekly Service of Holy Communion at 12noon and some of us choose not to.

The Tuesday House Group is open to anyone who would like to attend, and you can choose what you would like to do, or not to do! The only requirement is to join together in friendship, support and enjoy Epiphany House and its glorious grounds.

Ros, Jane, and Joyce

If you would like to join the Tuesday Team either in the garden or The Tuesday House Group either email us on  info@epiphanyhouse.co.uk or call us on 01872 857953.

Testimonial from Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

Testimonial from Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

Visitors most often remark on the wonderful service they receive from our staff and the lovely ambience of the House. This month we were delighted to receive a testimonial from Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum:

“Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum have been regular visitors at Epiphany House. The grounds are very well kept, the surroundings provide a serene and calming environment for staff to meet. The meeting rooms are spacious with a cosy feel, and the equipment is new and well taken care of.

There are coffee, tea and biscuits provided that you can help yourself to.  The lunch provided was lovely, we all had Lentil Daahl that was freshly made. CVSF will continue to come back frequently as we are grateful for the thought that is put into ensuring our bookings go smoothly.”

Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum

Prayer for the Ukraine

Prayer for the Ukraine

We are keeping a candle burning in the Epiphany House Chapel for the country of Ukraine and its people as a sign of hope, peace, and solidarity in this fragile time.

Dear Jesus

Lord, we bring the people, the land and all that belongs to the Ukraine before You.

You, alone, can bring peace, justice and healing to a land besieged by an aggressor and turn curses into blessings.

We ask for Your peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding, to flood the Ukraine: that where there is violence and chaos, Your angels stand between aggressor and victim – that attacks miss their mark and are rendered harmless; that courage rises and stands its ground; that wisdom speaks into receptive ears; and that pride becomes convinced of Your forgiveness and mercy.

Help them, Lord. Save them according to Your mercy, which knows no limits.

May all know that You are at work, both in the small miracles You do, for individuals in the Ukraine, and how You can change Nations in a moment.

May the world see You, Lord, as You stand up for and protect the oppressed and turn the tide against Goliath with your favourite, your chosen David.

May Your wonderful will be done in the Ukraine, Lord, just as it is in Heaven. May we hear and say ‘Amen’ to the prayers of the people in the Ukraine and the prayers You want, Lord Jesus, for the Ukraine.

And we bless all those in the Ukraine now and in the future:

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

In the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen

Janette Mullett – a Brief Appreciation

Janette Mullett – a Brief Appreciation

By Acting Chairman, Michael Tedder

As Janette’s contract as Director of Epiphany House formally comes to an end on 31 January, and she takes on a new role in the parish of All Saints, Highertown, I should like to express appreciation for her accomplishments at Epiphany House. Once new appointments have been made and Covid restrictions ease, the House will host a more conventional celebration of Janette’s achievements but this auspicious transition cannot pass unmarked.  

My first information about Janette came from a referee when she applied for the brand new post of Director of Epiphany House. The Revd Linda Liversedge in Cambridgeshire described someone with great administrative skills, someone who is ‘genuinely brilliant’, a ‘terrific all-rounder,’ as someone who can deliver what she promises. She begged us not to deprive her parish of such an outstanding worker! Five candidates were interviewed for Director and Janette was outstanding.  She took up the post on 1 November 2013.

Janette has had to deal with all kinds of ‘challenges’ (sometimes disasters!) as Director of Epiphany House. Who could forget the winter of 2018 when the ‘beast from the East’ came calling in March, causing burst water pipes in the attic that flooded rooms and damaged ceilings, leading to months of industrial dryers around the building followed by extensive replastering and recarpeting. Then, of course, there has been the extended disruption and uncertainties caused by the Covid 19 crisis. For months on end Janette and a much-reduced team have taken care of a building that never stops needing attention and care. Resuming normal operation has been a slow and complex process. 

Janette has overseen a number of transformations. She helped ensure the books balance. She has been an effective leader who could mould an enthusiastic and skilled staff team that successfully grew the business while rigorously controlling costs. At times managing change can be painful, particularly when staff contracts change, and Janette has sensitively managed some difficult but essential changes.

The most obvious transformation in the House has come from her oversight of the “Refresh and Renew” project. The addition of en suite accommodation and the shift of the focus of the building with the creation of our new reception area have transformed the prospects for the House and its mission. Building work started in October 2019 and Janette had to live with the inconvenience of her home being adjacent to a building site for nearly two years. 

The Latin inscription over the fireplace in Godrevy is a quotation from the Rule of St Benedict that translates as ‘Visitors (possibly strangers or refugees?) should be welcomed as though they were Christ’. Janette’s achievement as Director has been to make this instruction operational. Janette is a deeply prayerful person whose spiritual journey is an important part of her life.  She came to Epiphany House intent on living out her faith through more active involvement in Christian ministry in the community and that commitment led to her ordination as priest. I’m sure the whole Board of Trustees join me in wishing her well in the next stage of her journey.

A thank you to Epiphany House from ‘Connect’ group.

A thank you to Epiphany House from ‘Connect’ group.

As we are all aware the pandemic has taken its toll on the majority of us, some more than most, people have struggled with both their physical and mental health, however from what I have heard the greatest struggle was that of social isolation.

Truro GP Practices came together to address the social isolation that people had and were continuing to experience as a result of the pandemic and formed a Community Social Group, they appropriately named it ‘Connect’, bringing people together to support one another.

In December the facilitators of the group, Lindsey and Andy approached us here at Epiphany House and asked us if we could make a room available for them to host a Christmas Lunch, we were delighted to be approached and saw this as an opportunity to give something back to our local community.

The group funded the ingredients and our resident Chef, Debbie kindly volunteered to cook the lunch on her day off.

The group showed their appreciation by sending a message of thanks with a super photograph of them all enjoying their lunch both of which they are more than happy for us to share with you all in our monthly Newsletter.

A thank you to Epiphany House from ‘Connect’ group.

Connect is a Truro community social group for GP practices to refer people with mild mental health issues for support especially in the context of Covid19 and the resultant social isolation. We want to say a huge thank you to Epiphany House for donating their refectory space and their cook’s efforts for our truly delicious Christmas meal. In fact, members compared the food to other local establishments, and Epiphany’s fared extremely favourably. It was a special time of community. Thank you!