'Online retreats' offered by Oxfordshire nuns

image captionThe retreats are for people with family and work commitments

Two nuns are offering "online retreats" to help pay the bills at their Benedictine monastery in Oxfordshire.

The nuns, from the Holy Trinity Monastery in East Hendred, near Wantage, are inviting people to spend time in prayer under their guidance.

Participants will have to pay between £10 and £150 for the programmes, each lasting a total of five days.

They vary from a "five-minutes focus" each day to intense one-to-one guidance - all online or over the phone.

Worshippers can listen to podcasts, read texts and answer questions as well as chat online.

image captionThe online retreats cost between £10 and £150

Monastery prioress Dame Catherine, who used to be a banker, said: "The retreat is basically spending some time alone with God and we have been struck very much by the fact that not everybody can get away from family and work commitments to make a retreat.

"We've got various ways of interacting with the person who is making the retreat - live chat or Skype telephone call - so they don't feel they are marooned all by themselves."

The nuns have launched the scheme to help pay for everyday bills at the monastery and hope they will eventually be able to move to larger premises so they can offer more than virtual hospitality.

Dame Catherine added: "We have to pay our rent, our council tax and we have no other source of income apart from what we earn and donations."

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