Ancient Yorkshire church converted into spiritual Airbnb with its own jacuzzi

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Christina and Jasper, who run Eagles International Retreat, bought All Hallow’s Church in the hamlet of High Hoyland, near Barnsley, four years ago to create an idyllic staycation like no other. Sleeping up to six guests, the church is designed for “rest, refreshment and restoration” with the interior still retaining many of the original features.

A king size bed is nestled right under a bespoke beautiful stained-glass window designed by William Morris depicting The Ascension.

Guests can watch the high ceiling room colourfully light up when the sun shines through.

There is also a jacuzzi bath with salts, bubbles to help stressed visitors fully, with a recently installed full shower over the bath.

Other facilities in the luxury apartment include two single beds, a dining area and a fully-equipped kitchen with fresh continental items to choose for breakfast.

Speaking about how they came to own the now Airbnb church, Christina said: “It was mostly converted by my predecessor whose son was buried in the churchyard when she found out it was for sale, bought it, and converted it.

“My husband and I bought it from her in 2017 with a view of it being a Christian retreat centre where anyone who is feeling pressured, overwhelmed, burnt out or broken by life can come and be cherished and loved back to life.

“My husband and I have both spent 20 years in parish ministry and prior to this, I had worked nearly 20 years as a nurse.

“This last year, we have removed some of the alterations inside to create a retreat centre area for those who want to come on a daily retreat.”

All Hallows, where Eagles’ Rest resides, has been a place of worship since the 6th Century, when missionaries would gather and pray around a cross before the church itself was built.

Today, several visitors are drawn to the secluded getaway to request counselling, coaching or comfort during challenging times, with Christina being named APCTC Life Coach of the Year in 2015.

According to their website, the couple also said: “We regularly see people with a wide range of challenges who are seeking spiritual guidance and encouragement.

“In addition, we are regularly visited by people facing difficult life decisions and choices.

“We have offered spiritual direction to people whose spouses have left suddenly, those who have experienced major challenges within their church situations and those for whom their workplaces or job situations have become untenable.”

Individuals, couples or groups can explore the surrounding country footpaths or cycle to nearby landmarks within the region.

Stand out attractions range from Emley Tower, York Minster, the home of Emily Bronte, a ski slope and picturesque village coffee shops.

With 4.96 stars out of five on Airbnb, the Superhosts have received glowing feedback from previous guests seeking a mini break.

One guest said: “A superb place to stay, with superb hosts. Nearby walks in the woods are a delight and shops and pubs are an easy walking distance.

“Sleeping under stained glass was a glorious experience. Comfort and quirkiness, I plan to stay again.”

One review reads: “Beautiful place to stay or retreat. A real calm place… lovingly furnished and with everyone one could ever possibly need.

“We stayed for a family break but it would be the perfect place for a quiet weekend away or retreat.”

A two night weekend stay costs £98 per night with additional charges for cleaning and services fees.

There is also a chance to stay in the tower room which sleeps two people with stunning views of the surrounding churchyard grounds and fields.

September is almost sold out at Eagles’ Rest, but there are plenty of dates available for a last-minute getaway throughout the rest of the year. Visit their official website for more details.

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