Our 2021 Programme
More information about our programme from January to June, including booking links and an option to download the current overview, can be accessed from our Retreats landing page by clicking on the button below. As the programme evolves we will update both this page and the Northumbria Community website.
At the moment, with the closure of Nether Springs – provisionally until after Easter – all of our current programme will happen online.
Thank you for continuing to support our work during these uncertain times.
A ‘heads up’ for February
Please note that all of our online retreats are held within the monastic rhythm of the day and include our four-fold prayers, as well as opportunities to interact with members of our online Welcome and Hospitality team – Companions, Novices and Friends in the Northumbria Community – in more informal, ‘kettle on’ spaces, should you wish to join in with that.
Our online programme for February includes:
Hospitality with St Brigid from 1st–4th February– Inspired by the example of St Brigid, we are invited to explore together what it means for us today – and especially in these days – to offer hospitality in the name of Christ. This retreat is led by long-term Companions in Community, Norm and Ingrid Cumming.
Community Introductions from 8th-11th February. This retreat will enable you to learn more about who we are as Community – our ethos, values and Rule of Life. We are aware that many people may have ‘found’ us during this season – through our daily prayers, leadership reflections, prayer network or Monastic Living blog – and are wanting to explore further what it would mean to journey with us. Priority will be given to those who have already expressed an interest in postulancy or the novitiate but there may be other spaces available.
An Individually Guided Retreat – February 22nd – 25th – Seeking God at the Crossroads – IGRs are an opportunity to receive daily one-to-one spiritual accompaniment and personalised spiritual exercises. This is what the LORD says, ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ – Jeremiah 6:16. A chance to reflect on life-transitions with someone who will listen with you to God’s work at the crossroads. You may also, of course, choose to explore other themes with your retreat guide.
A heads up for March:
An individually Guided Retreat – March 8th – 11th –Listening to the Heartbeat of God –IGRs are an opportunity to receive daily one-to-one spiritual accompaniment and personalised spiritual exercises. In the Gospel of John, we find the Beloved Disciple at the Last Supper, leaning against Jesus, lying on his breast, reclining … presumably he was near enough to hear his heartbeat, if he chose to listen. This is a time to receive individual support and guidance as you to draw near to Christ as his Beloved One. You may also, of course, choose to explore other themes with your retreat guide.
March 19 – 21 (Friday-Sunday) – Journeying Deeper with St Cuthbert – David Pott will lead us on a journey of pilgrimage inspired by St Cuthbert, encouraging us to explore – and engage with – what it means to be in a time of transition and ask: What should we be carrying from the past? How do we move forward into the ‘new world’? What do we need to take/ let go of? Our time together will include stories and reflections, some of which have been filmed on ‘The Way of Life’ pilgrimage route to Durham that David has worked on – one of six that, God-willing, will be officially launched when it is deemed safe to do so this year.
UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ALL OF OUR RETREATS RUN IN THE GMT TIME-ZONE.
Our short input offerings and reflection series
In February and March we are running our first ‘Exile and Empire’ course on Tuesday evenings, over 8 weeks, in a newer format. Although this is now fully booked, we are planning to run it again. Please follow this link to the ‘Short Input Retreats and Courses’ landing page for more details, or to register your interest for the next round.
As last year, we also hope to run a Lenten reflection series through our School Blog – more information about that will be posted soon.
And also coming soon: Seven Sacred Spaces
Back in 2009, George Lings spent an extended time with us at the Northumbria Community as part of a research project for the Church Army, in which he gathered wisdom from both traditional, and ‘new monastic’, communities. The fruit of his research was some key thinking around seven characteristic elements in Christian communities through the ages, which, when held in balance, enable a richer expression of discipleship, mission and community.
In the monastic tradition these elements have distinctive locations: cell (being alone with God), chapel (corporate public worship), chapter (making decisions), cloister (planned and surprising meetings), garden (the place of work), refectory (food and hospitality) and scriptorium (study and passing on knowledge).
In 2021, through the School for Monastic Living, we are delighted to offer an opportunity to go deeper with these ‘seven sacred spaces’ as part of a small, monthly ‘transformational learning’ group and hope to offer this opportunity after Easter.
You can find a copy of George’s book – ‘Seven Sacred Spaces’ – HERE.