Introducing the International Community of Aidan and Hilda

A world-wide people who journey with God, reconnecting with the Spirit and the Scriptures, the Saints and the Streets, the Seasons and the Soil

We are a dispersed body of Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and other Christians who seek to cradle a holistic Christian spirituality for today that renews the church and heals the lands. We welcome people of all backgrounds and countries who wish to be wholly available to the Holy Trinity, and to the way of Jesus as revealed to us in the Bible. In the earthing of that commitment members draw inspiration from Celtic saints such as Aidan (Irish)  and Hilda (English) and God-guided indigenous personalities.

Members follow a Way of Life, with a Soul Friend, based on a rhythm of prayer and study, simplicity, care for creation and mission; and they seek to weave together the separated strands of Christianity.
The work of the Community is the work of each member. There is no ready-made community on one's doorstep. Co-unity with other members is rooted in the knowledge that they follow the Community’s Way and that this reflects their deepest calling.
 
The Community embraces men, women and children from all walks of life who have differing levels of commitment:

Friends
Friends are people who wish, to support the Community but do not feel able at this time to follow our Way of Life. They may have an interest in Celtic or Desert spirituality and wish to encourage the Community by their prayers and support. Friends receive the Community magazine and are welcome to join public events and retreats organised by the Community.
A person can become a Friend of the Community and receive the quarterly magazine.

Explorers
Explorers are people who are prayerfully exploring whether the Community and its Way of Life is an appropriate place for them to belong. Explorers test their vocation by living the Community Way of Life with the help of a Soul Friend. Explorers are encouraged to join in Community activities whenever possible. See pages 17-19.

Voyagers
After at least a year of living the Way of Life as an Explorer you may prayerfully apply to become a Member. In doing this you make a commitment to the Community‟s Way of Life by taking the First Voyage of the Coracle (first vows). Further information for Explorers wanting to become Voyagers is found in the Community Handbook.

Soul Friends
The term Soul Friend reflects the ancient Irish term for Spiritual Guide, Mentor or Anamchara. Each member is responsible for selecting their own soul friend who must be approved by the Community. Community Soul Friends range from a friend of an Explorer who is a mature Christian and good listener for whom this is a new ministry, to a trained spiritual director or ordained confessor.
 
The Guardians
The Guardians safeguard the spirit and ethos of the Community and are its spiritual leaders. The present Guardians are Penny Warren, Graham Booth and Simon Reed (based in UK), Tim Bonney and Dave Lundhol (USA) and Torbjorg Kloster (Norway) who work with leaders and co-ordinators in other countries. The Secretary of the Australian Caim Council is Sue Hicks.
 
Link Households
Apply the Way of Life as a household. More information about becoming a Community House can be found in the Handbook.

Link Churches
Link Churches are churches who as a body adopt the Community‟s values and resources. More information about becoming a Link Church can be found in the Handbook.

Regional Groups
Regional groups with regional guardians are developing and meeting throughout the UK and in some other countries. If you would like to know of the nearest group to you please contact the office.

The Open Gate Retreat House,  Shalom and Lindisfarne Retreat Studies Library

‘The Open Gate’ on Lindisfarne is a public retreat house which also acts as the Mother House of the Community. It is overseen by Kevin and Lesley Downham its wardens, Ellie McCourt (manager) and other helpers.  Midday Prayer and Night Prayer are said in the prayer room between the Celtic Library and the Gospels Garden. These are at 12 noon and 9pm Mondays to Fridays and all are welcome. There are six guest rooms in the main house for people who come for retreat, spiritual guidance or study plus  more rooms nearby.. There is an organised retreat programme running throughout the year and a resources shop open to all. Carol Few helps in the general office.

The Community Magazine (The Aidan Way)

This is published in February, May, August and November each year. It contains information about Community events, news, poems, letters, reviews, information about resources which throw light on the Way of Life, and a prayer diary. Members‟ news, prayer requests or other contributions should be sent to the Office.

The Website

The website, www.aidanandhilda.org, has information about retreats, resources, national pages, downloads and other web links.

a prayer...

We arise today
in the wisdom of the One
who brought to birth the giant plains,
the water and the first beings.
We arise today
in the brightness of the One
who created the blazing sun,
the shining stars and the twinkle in our eyes.
We arise today
in the mercy of the One
who gave us dreams
and memories and hearts.
Amen

Taken from
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books
St Aidan's Way of Mission
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Houses of Prayer
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