Since 2007, our Centre has been supporting and welcoming people to Glastonbury. There are more than seventy spiritual paths upheld in Glastonbury and the concept of providing a sheltered indoor sacred space that is not affiliated to any one belief became a reality in 2014 with the development of the Sanctuary.
The main room of the Centre offers a sacred environment that is not affiliated to any one belief - a nurturing, nourishing space where Glastonbury residents, pilgrims and visitors can share their experiences and relax in a gentle atmosphere that celebrates and inspires our Unity through Diversity.
"I lean back in my chair and the room seems to grow, almost tardis-like. At the same time the warmth and energy I feel is amazing - background noise and traffic seems to fade away and inner peace is restored. In fact, the more I sit in the beautiful centre, the less I want to venture outside. It strikes me that what has been created here. . . is indeed a real Sanctuary, a rare and very special place that is incredibly inviting and gives the visitor a real sense of calmness and inner peace. We could all do with sacred places like this in the harsh, modern society in which we live. . .for a centre like this to hold such a neutral space, where all are welcome, in such a diverse setting sends out a vital message of hope and understanding to the world."
Extract from an article in the 2014 Samhain (Winter) issue of Pagan Dawn, written by their Staff Writer, John Awen.
Would you like to have your name on a pebble in the Sanctuary? Or perhaps create one on behalf of a loved one or a special celebration?
A visitor to the Sanctuary will see that dotted around, are decorated stones with the names of those who have donated £25 or more.
These have been particularly welcomed by those not resident here, yet sense a deep connection and allows them to become part of the actual fabric of our beautiful town.This has been particularly welcomed by those not resident here. yet sense a deep connection, allowing them to become part of the actual fabric of our beautiful town.
"I live in west Cornwall but come up to Avalon as often as I can. This pledge makes me feel part of the fabric of your amazing town." Derek Winn, Penzance, Cornwall
Hiring the Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is available in the evenings for small groups (seats up to 13). If you would like to find out about possible hiring the space, please contact us.
spaces in the UK
The number of shared and open spaces for prayer, reflection and meditation has risen over the last ten years with recent research from the University of Liverpool stating there are more than 1,500 multi-faith spaces (MFS) in the UK.
However, the majority of these places are found in secular non-places such as airports, universities, prisons, government buildings, retail centres, hospitals and so-forth. These facilities have been provided as areas in which to ‘house difference’ rather than bringing people together. The most common and characteristic MFS offers a white room with a few religious/spiritual texts on a shelf, proffering nothing more than a place in which to undertake practises rather than experiencing real spiritual encounter.
Many of Glastonbury’s indoor sacred spaces afford an open door policy towards people from differing beliefs. However they all have their roots in their own faith or spiritual practice. The Sanctuary area within Glastonbury Reception Centre offers a freely available indoor space where all beliefs of good intent can come and experience a sense of togetherness in our connection to the 'Source'.
This is not to suggest we feel all faiths and paths are the same, nor that they‘should be’, but that each and every one has a valuable place in modern-day society. We also offer our acknowledgement that spiritual beliefs and practices can present complex and difficult challenges between different groups creating gaps that are sometimes difficult to bridge.
However, rather than focus on differences and discord, our intention was to create a space in the heart of the town where tolerance, understanding and co-existence can be found, demonstrating how together, we can live well in Glastonbury, whilst remaining different.
"This is truly a wonderful undertaking. I believe it will be good for the world."
- Fran Keegan