Aidan And Hilda Week On Lindisfarne August 2018

August 25 - 31 is Aidan and Hilda Week.  On August 25 Saint Hilda's body  was placed in a shrine in York. On August 31 Aidan went to heaven in a blaze of glory from Bamburgh, both in 7th century Britain. Members of The Community of Aidan and Hilda throughout the world make this a Day of A for Aidan and for an Action for Justice.

This year's A&H Study and Reflection Week at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne's Open Gate Retreat House was a week early - a build-up week.  A full house explored:  the holy and hospitable villages of God in the Ireland from which Aidan came; Aidan's mission to the English earthed in the simplicity of love; Hilda - a merciful mother who nurtured vocations in all; Cuthbert - healer and hermit, evangelist, prophet and soul friend, fire of the North; the Celtic vision of all creation in harmony with its creator which renewed Britain and Europe in a Dark Age; Three Loves eternally communing in God's heart, calling us to reflect these in our relationships, faith communities and wider society.

Before people left this morning - two going on to  Whitby and the Netherlands - each shared  a key insight or strap-line they take away to make their own. 1) Shaking, shrinking, slowing;  2) Creating an authentic Celtic monastic way among congregations;3)  Healing: being affirmed in my calling and in who I am; 4) Re-connect with my spiritual mother; 5) Relationship is more important than buildings; 6) The importance of boundaaries in Villages of God, and of mindfulness in worship; 7) Make time to safeguard daily rhythms; 8) The land (Northumbrian) pipes and seals - these conjure a 'Celtic sound' which God calls me to model in new high streets so society finds a new way of knowing Jesus; 9) On St. Cuthbert's Isle something long dormant in me was awakened; 10) Put things in place  that stop me being overwhelmed; build a willow cell on my bog land; 11) I'd drifted away from God. Now I realise He's there all the time.

People ask how they can become members of The Community of Hilda. Here are three steps:

1) Ponder these words:  

 Aidan was invited to a land where settlers had dispossessed the indigenous Celtic people. He brought the ways of Christ to both peoples, not by imposing them or by making a show, but by gentle listening, authentic living, and shared community. He taught his disciples to earth their faith in the land and to retreat with God in quiet in order to advance. He respected and walked among the indigenous people. He let Jesus and the Great Spirit confirm to them what was good and purify what was bad.  If rich landowners gave him money he gave it all to the poor, or went to the slave  market and bought a slave his freedom. He believed that everyone could learn something more about God every day. So he taught people to memorise the Gospels and Psalms so they could always meditate on them. He did not think that an individual faith was enough – he created  villages of God, called monasteries, where people shared a rhythm of prayers, meals, work, study and hospitality to guests.  This inspired people to make their existing villages more like that.

Perhaps he realised  that only spiritual foster mothers, like those in his native Ireland, could reach the most hardened parts of the English. He inspired the Saxon Princess Hilda to start communities for men and women. She became a ‘merciful mother’ to people from conflicting traditions. She released the songs in the heart of an illiterate cowherd.


 Aidan’s name means Flame and Hilda’s means Struggle. Together they are a universal symbol of people from different races and genders who become soul friends for the common good. A modern movement in many lands which invites Jesus’ disciples to again become ‘Followers of the Way’  is named The Community of Aidan and Hilda. It invites people of all races to spread Christ’s ways in the gentle spirit of Aidan, to heal the land and to unlock the song in every human heart, and to follow the trail of the full human being through Flame and Struggle.

2) Download the Way of Life from the web site  Decide if you want to follow this.  Find a soul friend. 

3) Email Explorer Guide David Cole<>  He will send you a pass word to enable you to  enrol on-line.


Posted at 15:09pm on 24th August 2018
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