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The loss of a loved one through separation, divorce, relationship breakdown or death is one of life’s most traumatic experiences. It can result in nearly unbearable feelings of loneliness and grief.
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Beginning Experience is a weekend residential programme to help grieving single men and women move from the darkness of their grief into the light of a new beginning and move into the future with renewed hope.
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Beginning Experience has proven to help individuals make a new beginning in life. The experience provides support and direction and offers participants an opportunity to reevaluate their lives and to move on into the future with renewed hope.
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From Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon the Beginning Experience programme is presented by a team of trained voluntary facilitators.

These facilitators are former participants who have decided to give back to others after receiving help with their own grief, anger and loneliness.

They are specially trained men and women who are themselves widowed, separated or divorced. Having experienced similar personal losses our facilitators can relate to the hurt, alienation and isolation suffered by those who have lost a partner.

They are in a unique position to listen, hear and understand others with whom they walk this journey.


The Beginning Experience weekend is a full residential weekend which begins on Friday at 7.00pm and ends Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm.

Team members lead the participants through a programme of their own presentations and personal reflection time in an atmosphere of care and concern. The programme provides participants with tools for recognising where they are in the grieving process and how to continue working through this process.

Confidentiality is at our core and while sharing is encouraged, only if you are comfortable to do so. Beginning Experience weekends take place twice yearly in April and October at the beautiful Ennismore Retreat Centre, Montenotte, Cork.

There website can be viewed here

Single bedrooms and all meals are provided. A fee is payable for the weekend.

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The Beginning Experience programme’s invitational process offers the opportunity to move towards a new beginning in life and its quality and effectiveness are well documented.

  • Developed by respected professionals in grief psychology, ministry, organisational process and education, the programme is psychologically and spiritually sound.
  • At the invitation of the World Mental Health Organisation, Beginning Experience participated in a grief resolution panel at the WMHO International Conference in Ireland.
  • To ensure the integrity and quality of the copy-righted programme, the International Ministry Centre periodically certifies all the peer ministry teams worldwide to present the Beginning Experience Weekend.


The Beginning Experience weekend is designed to be a time of closure on the past and new beginnings in the present.

Those who come should be beyond the ‘initial’ feelings of the loss of their loved one.

They should be at a point of wanting a new beginning and ready to work to make that desire a reality.


"The Beginning Experience weekend was the first time I met other people similar to myself. Our circumstances were different but the pain, hurt and loneliness I'd felt as a result of my separation was common to us all. It was a great source of reassurance to me that I was not alone."

"My own willingness to engage fully with weekend process allowed me to acknowledge deep feelings I'd buried for a long time, it gave me the tools to understand the grieving process and in one short weekend brought me further on my healing journey than the many years prior had."

- Patricia

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  • Leads to healthier family relationships.
  • Increases emotional health and self esteem.
  • Verifies that feelings of denial, anger, etc.,after the death or divorce are “normal”.
  • Provides tools to deal with the pain of the loss.
  • Enhances the ability to contribute to employer, church and community
Beginning Experience Emblem

Beginning Experience © Emblem

The original Beginning Experience Emblem Beginning Experience © logo now serves as the organizational emblem. The cross symbolizes our identification as Christians with Christ's suffering and death.

The anchor is an ancient symbol of hope. The rising sun symbolizes the beginning of a new day

Beginning Experience © Logo

Used for public communication, our logo depicts a human figure on a hill, moving through a crossroads in life, from the shadow of darkness toward a new horizon, and making this journey surrounded by the light of the cross.