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.

January to June 2023

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: January to December

  • 21 January
  • 25 February
  • 25 March
  • 22 April
  • 20 May
  • 24 June
  • 22 July
  • 19 August
  • 23 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 booking form for July to December dates will be available later on in 2023.)

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

Lent Small GroupTeach us to pray

Series of six: every Thursday evening during Lent — 23 February, 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 March — 7:30-9:00pm GMT/BST, closing with Compline

The Lord’s Prayer guides us each midday, for it is a central part of our Midday Prayer liturgy. This retreat engages us in the season of Lent with the steps of teaching and example Jesus gave to his disciples and gives to us. It is a statement of our identity. There will be time for reflection Alone Together. Edward Pillar will lead this retreat.


A suggested donation would be £60-£75. Please see above about donations and deposits.

Exile and Empire2023 Cancelled

Eight-week series

‘Exile’ expresses the discomfort and dislocation we often feel as we explore the questions ‘who is it that you seek?’, ‘how shall we sing the Lord’s song?’ and, ‘how then shall we live’. ‘Empire’ is the context in which we are exiles. Empire is the overarching and dominating system that we have no choice but to live within and that seeks to dominate us. For us, the empire is predominantly an economic system. The first half of this eight-week course draws from the complex experiences recorded in scripture of those living the life of faith within literal empires. These raise some awkward questions for the empire, and for us. The second half of the course focuses on our response, alone and together. Overall the course refutes the empire’s assertion, ‘there is no alternative’, with the strong and hopeful affirmation, ‘there is an alternative’!

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

If you are interested in this course, you might also like this resource from our Northumbria Community shop:

‘At Home in Exile’ by Peter McDowell

Seven Sacred Spaces – Coming again in Spring 2023!

This is now full

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.

Novitiate – Saturday Seminars (bi-monthly – coming soon)

These bi-monthly Saturday mornings will be time for those doing the Novitiate to gather together to share in some key input and reflect on their journey and the modules they are studying. If you are currently a Novice you will be sent the details of these gatherings.

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 -3.30pm)

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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