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Our retreats and events – online and at Nether Springs, our Mother House…
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Space for the New Year retreat – this year both at Nether Springs and, separately, online
January 9- 13 (Mon to Fri) – NETHER SPRINGS; January 13 – 15 (Fri to Sun) – ONLINE
I hope for you in the New Year: That the single, most significant dimension of life is your relationship with God who never ceases to sing love songs to your soul … That you make choices and decisions that reflect your truest self … That you find adventure in each new day and marvel at the wonders of creation which constantly present themselves to you … That you take risks and accept the growth-full challenges that come to you… Joyce Rupp (read full prayer here)
As we begin a new year, this is an opportunity to ‘come away’ and reflect on your intentions and hopes for the time ahead and to pray God’s blessings on it. There will be some guidance and resources offered, but mainly space within the rhythm of the day to connect with the Author of all our days. SPACES AVAILABLEfor NETHER SPRINGS and ONLINE
January 16th – 20th (Mon to Fri) – NETHER SPRINGS INDIVIDUALLY GUIDED : Being Who You Are
Spiritual formation is co-operating with the inner work of transformation the Spirit of God is seeking to accomplish in you. The Spirit’s purpose is not to turn you into a different person, but to make you into the best ‘you’ that you can be. An opportunity to explore, with the support of your retreat guide such questions as: What helps you to be more the person you believe God has made you to be? What is squeezing you into a mould and hindering you from being who you really are? How well do the roles you play, and the responsibilities you carry, fit with the person you are? You may also, of course, choose to explore other themes with your retreat guide.
This retreat is suitable for anyone who is interested in exploring God more deeply, on a personal level and includes three, one-to-one sessions with a retreat guide, alongside our monastic rhythms. SPACES AVAILABLE
This morning retreat offers space to pause from the activity of daily life and enter into a quiet stillness where we can listen to God and to our lives. Following the monastic rhythm of the day that we find at Nether Springs, we begin with Morning Prayer leading to a couple of hours for solitude with an optional creative focus, prayer and reflection in your own home. There will also be a suggested creative activity. Gathering back together for Midday Prayer, we end our time over a shared online lunch together, finishing at 1.30pm.SPACES AVAILABLE
Today, we invite you to join in with our Antiphon Walk across the Pilgrim’s Way, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland, UK, in every place where you are. You can also find the words of the antiphons in Celtic Daily Prayer Book One – from page 108.
From 17th to 23rd December, we set our hearts on pilgrimage towards the place of the coming of the Emmanuel. The Antiphons have been taken by early Companions in Community and recited as they have crossed the Pilgrim’s Causeway from the mainland to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. It may be that you, too, could find ways to walk with the Antiphon prayers this coming week in a pilgrimage in your own neighbourhood, praying for and being watchful, to see signs of God with us. As you pray for those around you, ask God to extend the blessings you have received that others might be aware of the Holy One amongst them.
We are pleased to be updating and releasing our overview of retreats and activities across the Northumbria Community through to June 2023. Please note that more will be added in the coming weeks, so please do check back.
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The last few years have brought several learnings about what our programme could look like and, we are excited to develop it online, at Nether Springs and in person across Dispersed Community, with grateful hearts, in response to God’s leading and ongoing feedback from the many who have continued to support who we are and what we do.
It is a particular joy to be offering a wider programme at Nether Springs from January to June 2023. Alongside our regular, Inner Outer Pilgrimage retreats there will be an expanded series of led retreats; monthly, themed individually guided retreats; a series of ‘group booking’ spaces (which will include opportunities for charitable organisations/ different people groups to come and experience our hospitality within our daily rhythms), a gardening weekend and a series of quiet days.
It may well be possible to welcome guests for a quiet day at other times, so please do be in touch with the Nether Springs Office team on 01670 787645 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 1pm) or by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is an overview of all that will be happening at Nether Springs from January to June, followed by more details of each retreat, or joining in opportunity. You will need to complete a booking form (links below the overview) in order to participate.
Over the past two years, we have been learning the value of offering ‘joining in’ spaces online and, in particular, of creating retreats that are held within the rhythm of our prayers, with a Welcome and Hospitality team alongside any input. Again and again, people have commented on how these spaces have helped them to connect with the Northumbria Community and created a ‘sense of home’, especially where geographical distance has meant that visiting Nether Springs has been difficult, or, indeed, totally out of the question.
We will continue to offer our Community Introductions online as well as the occasional Individually Guided or Led retreat. Alongside these, we will also run several ‘short courses’ – e.g. seasonal ones for New Year, Lent and Advent; Seven Sacred Spaces, Empire and Exile and the popular Creative Saturday mornings, where you will be invited to stop, listen, reflect and pray.
July to December 2023
(More retreats will be added, but these dates/retreats are already planned. Booking forms will also be made available at a later date)
From 12 to 24 September a band of pilgrims walked from Gainford in Co Durham to Lindisfarne, journeying with two facsimilies: one of the Lindisfarne Gospels and another of St John’s (or Cuthbert’s) Gospel. We also travelled with a replica of Cuthbert’s coffin and a flag with Cuthbert’s Cross.
Many who walked wore black t-shirts with the pilgrimage logo (see below) and, as we’d like to share these very good quality shirts with others, the folks in the Northumbria Community Office have kindly agreed to sell them. If you’ve been influenced by St Cuthbert or walked any of the pilgrimage routes inspired by him (e.g. St Cuthbert’s Way, Northern Saints Trails), this is a great t-shirt to have!
The shirts have the logo below on the front and are blank on the back. (There are still some t-shirts available with the pilgrimage programme on the back – contact email@example.com if you’d like one of those.)
The ‘C’ stands for Cuthbert, but also his cross and the Christ whom he followed so closely. The four symbols (heart, water, candle flame and book) represent love, life and light – key themes in Cuthbert’s favourite gospel of John. The book represents learning as well as the gospel. The ducks are eider ducks (often called ‘Cuddy ducks’ after Cuthbert who supposedly decreed that no one should eat or even disturb them) and remind us of his great love for creation.
The shirts are unisex with a relaxed fit, made of organic cotton, GOTS accredited and Fair Wear Foundation certified and printed in the UK by a Living Wage employer. They’re very comfortable to wear and are available in Small, Medium, Large or X-Large.
You can buy one for £10 + £3P&P (in the UK) by ringing the Northumbria Community Office at 01670 787645, Monday to Friday, between 9am and 3pm.
Companion Christine Barnabas first began writing her book Consecrated Celibacy: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Calling in 2018/2019, several years after her vow of consecrated celibacy in 2011.
“Each time I met another person on this journey, I was affirmed in my resolve to ‘one day’ write a book for those who know that they want to commit to staying single but are very clear that joining a traditional religious order is not for them. All those I met agreed how helpful it would be to have a resource at hand about how this calling could be lived out ‘in the world’.”
So she began writing! You can read more about how Christine’s book came to be here.
Consecrated Celibacy was launched at Nether Springs in early September where Tina Fields (Northumbria Community Resources Lead) interviewed Christine. You can watch the interview here:
“As someone who’s been married for almost 27 years….I had the assumption that the book might be an interesting read, but wouldn’t have anything for me to take away. I’m pleased to say, I was entirely wrong!”
If you would like to read Christine’s book for yourself, you can order a copy here.
We pray that, as Christine has now ‘birthed’ her book and introduced it to the world, she would be encouraged as it speaks to others on their journey. May she know fruitfulness as she prays, serves and lives.