Short Input Retreats and Courses


We have been excited to offer several short retreats / gatherings over the past six months as we have continued 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.


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, suggested donations and Gift Aid (if you live in the UK) can be found towards the bottom of the page.

CREATIVE SATURDAY MORNING: 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

2022 Dates: July to December

Note: these Saturdays are fully booked until the end of the year. You can still fill out the form below to go on a waiting list. Thank you!

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.


Note: these Saturdays are fully booked until the end of the year. You can still fill out the form below to go on a waiting list. Thank you!

A *suggested donation would be £20. Please see below about *suggested donations.

Selah – Advent Small Group

Note: this Small Group is fully booked, but you can still fill out the form below to go on a waiting list and we will let you know if a space becomes available. Thank you!

Friday evenings: 18 and 25 November, 2 and 9 December

‘Lord, I am here, pausing in the middle of the work that is yet to do.’ (From the Eata liturgy, Celtic Daily Prayer.)

As we enter Celtic Advent this four-week course offers an opportunity to pause and slow down as we journey towards celebrating Christ’s birth. Over the four weeks we will be reflecting upon the experience of ‘Selah’, of Pause in our daily lives. Each week there will be an invitation to practice meditation exercises with options to explore these creatively. Selah appears in the psalms and whilst its meaning is something of an enigma it holds a sense of pause, of stepping back from our activity so that we might meet with God. 


Note: this Small Group is fully booked, but you can still fill out the form below to go on a waiting list. Thank you!

A *suggested donation would be £30-£50. Please see below about *suggested donations.

Exile and EmpireComing again in Autumn 2022!

This course is fully booked, but you can contact us if you’d like to go on the waiting list:

7:30pm – 9:00pm (GMT), Tuesday evenings?

‘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’!

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

A *suggested donation would be £50 for the course. Please see below about *suggested donations.

Seven Sacred Spaces

Hopefully coming again in 2023. Those on the waiting list will hear from us in due course.

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 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 May 2021 and will involve a commitment of three, weekly meet-ups that month, followed by one session a month (with a break in the summer) until April 2022. 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 for the course. Please see below about *suggested donations.

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.

About *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.

Regarding cancellations: One of the advantages of online retreats is that you can book in and out very easily and of course we recognise that emergencies happen and often there is nothing you can do about having to cancel your retreat at the last minute. But we would like to suggest that – if you cancel less than a week ahead of time for a non-emergency reason – you consider making a donation to the Community in appreciation and solidarity. We will have put time and energy into making the retreat happen and may also have said to others that it was fully booked. We will have included you in our prayers and plans for the retreat and hope that you would also stand with us in prayer for it. We are together on the journey and thank you for your support of us as we provide spaces and resources for you!

Details of how to make a donation, or ways to give to the Northumbria Community on a more regular basis, can be found by clicking on the button below. If you are a UK taxpayer, we would be grateful if you considered ‘gift aiding’ your donation. You can find a gift aid form via the link below.

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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