Community Network

Annual gathering 2010

The Annual Gathering 2015

Members

The Community network embraces people from all walks of life who have differing levels of commitment:

1. 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 are people who have a genuine interest in Celtic spirituality and who 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 by sending the respective form to the office with a subscription to the quarterly magazine.

2. Explorers

Explorers are people who are prayerfully exploring whether the Community and its Way of Life is an appropriate place for them to be. 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, and to engage in a period of spiritual formation.

3. Voyagers

After at least a year of living the Way of Life as an Explorer you may prayerfully apply to become a Member, a complete 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.

4. Long Voyagers

These are members who have been voyagers for at least seven years who have take life time vows to remain

Soul Friends

The term Soul Friend reflects the ancient Irish term for Spiritual Guide or Mentor, 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

We have three guardians, who work together to safeguard the spirit and ethos of the Community and its dispersed members, and is its spiritual leader. You can find out more about them on our main contacts page.

Community Households

Community households or Cells are dedicated to applying the Way of Life as a household. More information about becoming a Community House can be found in the Handbook.

Affiliated and Link Churches

Affiliated Churches are churches who as a body adopt the Community's values and resources. Link Churches maintain informal links. More information about this can be found in the Handbook.

Regional Groups

The UK, and other countries where the Community has a presence, is dividing into regions, each of which has a Coordinator who keeps in contact with local groups, which arrange their own meetings, retreats and events. To find out more about thegion groups click here.

Retreat House

This is 'The Open Gate' on Lindisfarne, which is run by Wardens appointed by the CAIM council, the governing body of the Community, plus a House Manager andusually a series of volunteers, who are often members of the Community.

Midday Prayer and Night Prayer are said in the Community Prayer Room at the Lindisfarne Retreat every weekday at 12 noon and 9pm respectively. Midday prayer is also said on Saturdays. There are six guest rooms for individuals who come for retreat, spiritual guidance or study. There is an organised retreat programme running throughout the year.

Celtic Study Library

The library is house in a nearby cottage, the 'Lindisfarne Retreat' which also provides a home for the Housekeeper.

The Community Magazine ('The Aidan Way')

This is published in February, May, August and November each year and contains news of Community events, news, poems or letters from members; articles, letters, reviews and information about resources which throw light on the Way of Life, and a prayer diary organised.

Members' news, prayer requests or other contributions should be sent to the Office.

Click here to email the Community Office

The Website

The website is also a vital link in the network, providing information about retreats, courses, resources and taking on-going feedback. Leaders and members of the Community can login and update content. There is a members area which is not available to the casual visitor to the site.

Support Framework

Caim Council

The Caim Council consists of the three Guardians: Rev Simon Reed, (Chair of the Caim Council) and Rev Graham Booth (responsible for editing the Aidan Way) and Penny Warren (Members Guardian); Geoff Holt (Chair of Trustees); David Cole (Explorer Guide); the Community Co-ordinator(currently Carol Few); plus Ruth Booth (Soul Friend Advisor). The wider Caim Council, which meets by e-mail includes the USA, Norwegian and Australian Guardians.

Accountability

The Guardian, Caim Council and Trustees give account to the Community Soul Friend who is a person in senior oversight of a major church stream, for example, a Bishop.

Finance

The Community needs income to maintain its office, publish the magazine and information leaflets, organise events, as well as to contribute to its ministries at Lindisfarne and elsewhere.The Community directly funds:

  1. the magazine
  2. costs of office and part-time secretaries
  3. the cost of the Guardian's travel to Community functions

Lindisfarne Trust (registered charity No. 1092445) handles the business of the Open Gate and its bookshop.

Cheques, covenants and Gift Aid donations for any of the above may be made out to 'The Community of Aidan and Hilda' and sent to the Community Office (The Open Gate, Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 2SD, UK), remembering to mark the earmarked purpose on the rear of the cheque; the Community will then pass on these amounts.

Legacies should be made to The Community of Aidan and Hilda with a covering letter, if desired, stating any particular project or person it should be allocated to.

Those who wish to make standing orders through their bank should contact the community office for the appropriate form or download it by clicking here. If you pay income or capital gains tax we can recover tax paid if you complete a gift aid form (available from the community office). Those who give single donations from which we can re-claim tax should also complete a gift aid form.