Welcome to the Community Website

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Introduction   Guardians   Daily Light   Join Us   Contacts   Donate   Volunteering   Ray Simpson

Annual Gathering 2016


The Community of Aidan and Hilda is a dispersed, ecumenical body drawing inspiration from the lives of the Celtic saints. The Open Gate, on Lindisfarne is our main house and offers accommodation for members and visitors.

We provide a programme of retreats and events on Holy Island, around the UK, and internationally.

Celtic Summer School

The Community of Aidan and Hilda is sponsoring a week long summer school in Durham between 7th and 14th August 2019. You can take part in it over the whole week or for a single day depending on your commitments and preferences.

You can find full details of it here and download a flyer here.

You can download details of retreats for 2019 here.

While, Holy Island provides our main base there are  regional groups around the UK, which have their own programme of events. The Community also has members in several countries around the world some of which have their own overseas groups.

We also run a variety of online correspondence courses, supported by tutors and mentors available by email, telephone and possibly during any associated retreats.

Find out about our life-changing study course "Igniting the Flame" here.

The Community tries to nurture a holistic Christian spirituality for today that can benefit both traditional and emerging churches. We provide a wide range of resources and even e-learning packages. The Community is governed by the Caim Council and headed by our three Guardians, currently Graham Booth, Penny Warren and Simon Reed. Membership has a variety of forms:

  • Friends
  • Explorers
  • Voyagers

You do not, however, need to be a member to enjoy the facilities and resources we offer. Most retreats and meetings are open to all christians and those wanting to find out about the Christian faith. Through this website you can  find out more about the community and explore the possibility of  joining with us.

If you are new to the story of the Celtic churches that survived in Britain following the collapse of the Roman Empire, downloading the Celtic Timeline PDF file should provide you with a very brief chronology of events. There are also a number of introductory books available on the subject, available from our resources centre, which explore the relevance of the Celtic churches to our lives today.

The Community publishes a quarterly magazine, The Aidan Way. You can download a past edition here

Join the Community of Aidan and Hilda

Daily Readings

In his book "Celtic Daily Light", Ray Simpson provides us with  daily meditations for each day of the year. You can read them online here or by clicking the image "Read Celtic Daily Light". You can also join in the Community's daily prayer by clicking the links beneath the Pray with Us section below.

Pray with Us

The Community recommends having a rhythm of prayer through the day. You can see examples of the format we suggest for morning, midday, evening and night prayer here.

Inspirational readings from Ray Simpson's book Celtic Daily Light

Community Guardians

The Guardians safeguard the spirit and ethos of the Community and its dispersed members, and are its spiritual leaders. The current Guardians are Graham Booth, Penny Warren, and Simon Reed.

Each guardian also has a specific role

Graham Booth Penny Warren Simon Reed


Graham Booth

Postal Address:

The Glebe
Shetland Islands

Phone: 01957-733380

Members’ Guardian

Penny Warren

Postal Address:

The Rectory
EX21 5RU 

Phone: 01409-281424

Chair of Caim Council

Simon Reed

Postal Address:

The Ascension Vicarage
Beaufort Road
W5 3EB

Phone: 020-8566-9920

For general enquiries it is best to contact the Community office in the first instance, but all three Guardians are happy to be contacted whenever necessary or with specific enquiries.. To book a retreat please contact the Open Gate on 01289-389222.

Ray Simpson is the founding guardian of the Community and although he is no longer responsible for running Community affairs you can find out more about Ray here.

Volunteering at the Open Gate

The Open Gate is in a period of transition and re-organisation. The opportunities for volunteering are therefore currently under review. Further details will appear here in due course.

Giving to the Community of Aidan and Hilda

The Community's regular income comes from subscriptions, sales of books, CDs and crafts, and accommodation provided by the Open Gate. While this might keep us ticking over, we do need donations if we are to engage in any projects or expand our mission.

You can make a donation to the Community through PayPal here.

Ray Simpson with retreatants on Holy Island