Short Input Retreats and Courses


We are pleased to be able to offer several short retreats / gatherings over the next year as we continue to seek ways to grow alone/together as Community. These gatherings have been ways in which we have been able to connect with others around a particular theme and in which we have explored our Rule and way of living and being in our world and community today. Please read the following descriptions for more information and do keep checking this page as we update it over the next weeks and months.

July to December 2023


Suggested Donations

As a registered charity, The Northumbria Community Trust does not ask for a set fee to cover the cost of a retreat. Instead, we invite donations to support the life and work of the wider Community as a whole.

Many retreatants welcome a suggestion as to what might be an appropriate donation. This is always a difficult question to answer. However, for your guidance, the suggested donation is indicated against each retreat in the programme. We ask that you make as generous a donation as is possible without risking hardship. Through the work of the Community, the generosity of those who can afford more will benefit those who have less. As the weekly and monthly costs of running the Community are substantial, we would greatly value your integrity and generosity in this regard.

Deposits and Cancellations

We now request a non-refundable holding deposit be made to confirm your booking within two weeks of registering your interest in a retreat. The details of this (amount and how) will be included in the email sent to notify you if there is space available.

If an emergency arises and it becomes necessary to cancel your retreat we will be happy to reassign your deposit to another retreat.

Limited financial means

As a Community, it is always our wish that finances are never a barrier to taking part in a retreat. If you would like to join a retreat and do not have the (full) financial means to do so, please contact us at and we will be happy to work out a way to make your participation possible.


If you would like to make a donation to support the life and work of the Northumbria Community, having participated in a retreat or event or enjoyed some of our resources, please follow the link below. Further information about giving and Gift Aid (if you live in the UK) can be found HERE.

We journey alone together on this adventure beyond the familiar and into the unknown. For such a time as this, we are Community.  We think of our Brendan liturgy, determined amidst all uncertainty always to trust…Our times are still in your hand, O God.

stop, listen, reflect, pray

A Saturday morning retreat space with the Northumbria Community, that will involve stillness, reflection and creativity. We plan to run one a month – see dates below.

9.00 am to 1.30pm (GMT/BST) Saturday morning

2023 Dates: July to December

  • 22 July
  • 19 August
  • 16 September
  • 21 October
  • 25 November
  • 16 December

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.


A suggested donation would be £20. Please see above about donations and deposits.

What Happens Next? A Creative Journey Through Advent

This course is now full, but you can register your interest (using the link below) to go on the waiting list.

20 November to 18 December inclusive
7.30pm to 9.00pm UK time / 1.30pm to 3.00pm Central North American time

This five-week Short Course will be facilitated by Carla Waterman and Pamela Keske and will run on Mondays in Celtic Advent.

The first two chapters in Luke are packed with the interplay between people guided by God, yet free to respond in real time in this great divine-human drama of Jesus’ birth. Their circumstances are unique, and they respond in creative ways to a variety of God-infused moments. 

And while we probably haven’t had many conversations with Gabriel, the creative unfolding of our lives can have some similar dynamics. God moves and we are left surprised, afraid, curious, exuberant, or silent… just like our friends in Luke. Like them we journey on, and every once and awhile we perceive the wonder of Christ’s kingdom made incarnate in our small corners of the world.

In this Advent Online Retreat we will reflect on each of the main characters revealed in the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke, what God does, how they respond—and the creative clues we glean into our journeys into the unknown. Each week we will suggest a creative exercise to explore the listening, waiting, responding postures suggested by our biblical friends.

So join us (Carla Waterman and my sister, Pamela Keske) as we walk alongside Zechariah, Mary and Elizabeth, Joseph, the Shepherds and Simeon in the Gospel of Luke and beyond, as we explore the creative significance in what happens next: in their lives and, perhaps, in our own. 


A suggested donation would be £60 – £75 for the course. Please see above about donations and deposits.

Seven Sacred Spaces – spring 2023 to spring 2024

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 2023, through the School for Monastic Living, we are delighted to offer an opportunity, to a small number of people, to enter the process of going deeper with these ‘seven sacred spaces’ as part of a small, monthly ‘transformational learning’ meet-up.

Seven Sacred Spaces will start in Spring 2023 and will involve a commitment of three, weekly meet-ups the first month, followed by one session a month for a total of 13 months. It would be important to consider the outline of the process by viewing the document below, before signing up.

You can find a copy of George’s book – ‘Seven Sacred Spaces’ – HERE.

A *suggested donation would be £60 – £75 for the course. Please see above about donations and deposits.

What happens after you have completed the booking form?

You should receive an acknowledgement of your booking within a few days, which will also indicate whether or not there is a place available. We would ask that you also leave a small ‘holding deposit’ at that time. Should you need to clarify a ‘holding deposit’ made previously, in relation to a retreat at Nether Springs that was cancelled, please contact the Northumbria Community office directly either by email: or by ringing us on: 01670 787645‬ during office hours (Monday to Friday 9.00 -3.00pm)

Once your booking has been acknowledged, a week or two before the retreat starts, you will receive further details, which will include a link to a special landing page for your retreat. This will contain all of the information that you will need, including a programme outline and – e.g. a link to our daily prayer room.

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