In our centenary year in 2013, the APR Trustees launched the Bursary Fund to help and encourage more people to go on retreat, whatever their financial circumstances, and we continue to support dozens of would-be retreatants each year. Our hope is that APR Member Retreat Houses will promote the availability of the assistance, and that licensed ministers and others will also feel able to highlight the support to those considering making a retreat.

Please note that our Post-Covid ‘NHS Bursary’ Scheme has now closed for applications. To read how it helped hundreds of NHS and Care-workers make their retreats, please click here.

How the APR’s bursary scheme works

Applications must be made through one of our member retreat houses, who can apply for up to 50% of the costs of an individual guest’s retreat (up to a maximum of £200 for any person in a year). The APR has not set specific ‘hardship’ criteria, believing that retreat houses will be best placed to know when individuals are in genuine need which might prevent them from participating in a quiet day or retreat. (However, due to the popularity of the scheme and in order to make sure that the maximum amount of people can benefit from it, individual retreatants may apply no more than once every other year.). Applications must be submitted by means of a Bursary Fund application form received at least 10 days before the start of the retreat event applied for.

Once applications are received from houses, APR trustees will make a decision within one week of receipt; if approved, payment will be arranged as soon as the house confirms that the beneficiary has arrived at or completed the retreat.

Member Houses can make applications for up to FIVE individual retreatants in any one financial year (1 April – 31 March). However, if they wish to make an additional donation to the Bursary Fund, the APR will consider more applications from that house (up to the value of their donation; for full details of how to do this, please download and read our Bursary Fund Terms and Conditions).

Should an application be received from someone with disabilities, who needs a full-time carer to accompany them in order to make their retreat, consideration will be given to both applications on a Two-for-One basis.

We also welcome one application each year from trainee Spiritual Directors, through their (diocesan) training courses. Application forms for this can be downloaded here; or do email the APR Administrator (on for more information.

Full Terms and Conditions of the APR Bursary fund can be downloaded here.

We think that this route of practical support to help subsidise the cost of retreats or quiet days for those in financial need is a very fitting way to mark the first one hundred years of promoting retreats. Please spread the word that this support is available, and if you feel able to make a contribution to extend the legacy, we would be delighted to hear from you. 

If you would like to contribute to the Bursary Fund, and help even more people who might not otherwise be able to afford it, go on retreat this year, please follow this link to our online Donation Form. Alternatively, if you prefer to pay by cheque, please make it payable to ‘Association for Promoting Retreats Bursary Fund’, and post it to 2 Brookfield Cottages, The Strand, Lympstone EX8 5ES. You can also make donations securely through this site using the ‘Donate’ transaction button opposite.