Covid-19 & Ty croeso
Back in March 2020 with the outbreak of Covid-19, life at Llantarnam Abbey as we knew it began to change radically. Lockdown for us began on the 15 th March
when our chapel was closed to the public. Quickly other restrictions followed. Signs appeared informing the public and visitors that our grounds and the Abbey itself was closed to visitors. ‘Wash your hands, stay home, protect the NHS, save lives, keep the social distance’, became our mantra.
The impact on Ty Croeso Retreat Centre, which is part of Llantarnam Abbey, has been immense. We started 2020 with the usual steady trickle of bookings – typical of the winter months. The first of the 8 day residential preached Retreats, directed by Bishop John Crowley, began in March. Already the rumblings of the Pandemic were gathering momentum and by departure date lockdown was imminent. The very next day the Centre was closed and has remained that way since!
The administrator who lives on site, has been kept busy dealing with day to day management, cancellations, inquiries and refunding of deposits. However, the closure presented the ideal opportunity to engage in much needed maintenance work. It enabled us to upgrade the wifi system throughout the Centre. Hot water pipes were lagged, making the place more energy efficient. The exterior of the Hermitage cottage was redecorated, as was the shop and lots of other areas that needed attention, were dealt with.
The Centre facilities were also utilised for some members of the nursing staff at the Abbey who needed to self-isolate before returning home. The Trustees also made use of the space for social distancing for their meetings.
As Ty Croeso is on the same campus as Llantarnam Abbey, using shared areas, we have to be doubly careful in order to preserve the safety and well-being of our elderly and vulnerable sisters in our care facility. This was one of the considerations that brought the Trustees to the decision that Ty Croeso should remain closed to the public until the end of the year, when the situation will be reviewed.
Like many Retreat Centres, Churches and Charities, Ty Croeso is facing extremely challenging times. The loss of income has been considerable and the bills keep coming! However, we are well aware that our experience is just a tiny reflection of the global crisis that this pandemic has wrought.
We have really appreciated the supportive phone calls, messages of concern for our welfare and the kind donations that we have received. “Every little helps.”
We are missing all our “regulars” and trying to adjust to the “new norm.”