It was recommended years ago by friends, and suggested by the Ministry Development Officer in Glasgow before I moved last summer, and i have finally done it!
Retreat with the Northumbria Community was fantastic, and left me wondering why i had delayed so long. 4 days at Acton Home Farm (the new “Nether Springs” mother house for the community) made the 600 mile round trip worthwhile, to say the least.
Being immersed in celtic prayer & “new” monasticism was a wonderful experience: being surrounded by God in the daily pattern of worship, work, solitude, community & study; the day punctuated by bell peals marking the beginning of prayer and for communal meals; periods of splendid isolation on Alnmouth beach, and the presence and wisdom of a retreat leader who looked into me and affirmed what he found, pushed me in interesting directions and guided my reading and meditation. (Thanks P!)
I went with my own agenda, with lots of questions to answer – the ones i’ve been struggling with regarding the transition from Scotland to England and the meaning of being “priest” in this context. God had other ideas however, and my own agenda fell into insignificance as we talked and prayed around the journey of the last couple of years – into the wilderness and back again. We explored those crossroads moments and the directions taken, seeing God’s hand in them, using the bad and affirming the good. And we looked to the future – to where God may be leading. Twas good stuff. and I am thankful.
Father, bless the work that is done,
and the work that is to be.
Father, bless the servant that I am,
and the servant that I will be.
(from the Felgild Compline, Celtic Daily Prayer)