Divine Intimacy, Ordinary Holiness

Divine Intimacy, Ordinary Holiness‘ is the fascinating title of the next Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation, to be held at Drumalis Retreat Centre, Larne, in the north of Ireland in June 2020 (14th-19th).

Following a Benedictine-style rhythm, the Five-Day Community incorporates first-class teaching, silence, regular worship, reflection and small group sharing in a programme which many have found to be life-giving and transformative.

We are delighted that the speakers for this community will be:

Gemma Simmonds: a sister of the Congregation of Jesus and director of the Religious Life Institute in the UK, Gemma is well known as a writer, broadcaster and leader of retreats.  Gemma’s theme for her five presentations will be ‘Discovering what we already have’.  Read more about Gemma here.

Brian Thorne: Emeritus Professor of Counselling at the University of East Anglia and a Lay Canon of Norwich Cathedral, Brian is also a widely-published author, particularly in the area of the person-centred approach to counselling and life.  Brian will speak each day on ‘The risks of intimacy, human and divine.’ A list of Brian’s publications can be found here.

Drumalis Retreat Centre is a beautiful, comfortable and peaceful location, close to the sea.

More information about the ethos of the Community for Spiritual Formation, along with a draft programme for the event can be found by downloading the flier: Community e-flier Drumalis 2020

To book a place, please download the registration form: Community 4 Registration Form and send it as described or email fivedaycsf@btinternet.com

Information about possible bursary funding is available here.


Community for Spiritual Formation

Through a programme of teaching, silence, worship and reflection based on a Benedictine monastic pattern,

the Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation 

aims to

  • root spirituality in Christian faith and tradition
  • provide opportunity for participation in community life
  • form people for life in a changing world

Check the posts below for more information about this year’s event which takes place in LEEDS 13th – 18th May 2018

Five-Day Community Opportunities

The Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation is a rare opportunity to participate in a small, short-term community experience with excellent teaching.

Several Community events are currently available:

Booking is now open for DIVINE INTIMACY, ORDINARY HOLINESS  14th-19th June 2020 – in the beautiful setting of Drumalis Conference and Retreat Centre, Larne, Northern Ireland. Presentations from Gemma Simmonds and Brian Thorne.

For more information download the flier and the registration form below.

Community e-flier Drumalis 2020

Community 4 Registration Form

Or email fivedaycsf@btinternet.com

For information about possible bursaries download: Five-Day CSF finance

Autumn 2020:

For the first time in Britain, the Community for Spiritual Formation will be offering a Three-Day Community event in October 2020 (Friday 16th – Sunday 18th October).  This will be held at Cliff College on the theme ‘Aspects of Community’.  This will be explored by Rev. Roger Walton based on John’s Gospel.  Booking will open shortly.

Autumn 2021:

Save the date now for another exciting Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation to be held at Cliff College from Sunday 7th – Friday 12th November 2021.  The theme will be linked to Advent and we are delighted that one of the speakers will be poet Rev. Malcolm Guite.  More details will follow.

Summer 2022:

Plans are also underway for a Five-Day Community in July 2022.  Probably at a new venue, so watch this space!

Divine Darkness, Divine Light

The most recent Five-Day Community event offered by the Community for Spiritual Formation took place just before Advent began in 2019 at Cliff College, Derbyshire (Sunday 24th – Friday 29th November 2019).

The theme was highly appropriate for that season, as we looked at both darkness and light; how they interplay and how both can reveal more of God to us.

The retreat followed a Benedictine style rhythm incorporating times of silence amongst the worship, teaching, listening and eating, as we lived together in this short-term community.

5 Day Community


The two speakers for ‘Divine Darkness, Divine Light’ were:

  • Rev. Cathy Bird, Methodist minister in London and author of The Divine Heart of Darkness
  • Rev. Steve Radley, Anglican priest in Cambridgeshire and photographer. Find out more at his website.

Both gave us outstanding presentations around the themes of darkness and light – and how each needs the other, each brings out the best in each other, and each plays its part in our lives.

5 Day Community


Community in a Fragmented World

Our 2nd UK “Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation” met from 13th-18th May at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, under the theme “Community in a Fragmented World”.  Several photos of the community members can be found below.

Our two presenters, Rev. Dr. Roger Walton and Dean Elaine Heath both gave us a great deal to think about, reflect on and absorb; amidst the community pattern of worship, silence and listening.

Watch this space for more information about future plans.


Community in a fragmented world

Community in a fragmented world

Wherever I go at the moment I find people talking about community… about the need to build, or re-build community spirit, about the need for church to offer community to people who feel isolated, for the world to develop a sense of global community…

One of the best experiences I had last year was to be part of the “Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation” which took place in Northern Ireland.  Around 35 folk gathered for a 5-day happening, based on a Benedictine rhythm – with teaching, worship, listening circles and silence.  It was so good that the small leadership team, of which I am a member, have decided to offer it again this year – with different speakers and a different theme.

Picking up this cry for community, our theme will be Community in a fragmented world and the event (part retreat, part conference, part simply, as the name says, community) will be at Hinsley Hall, Leeds from Sunday 13th to Friday 18th May 2018.

We are delighted that our two presenters are both well-known, well-respected and much-loved teachers in their fields, and that both are currently exploring themselves what community is, how it can be created and how it can be missional.  They are Elaine Heath, Dean of Duke Divinity School, North Carolina and an elder in the United Methodist Church and Roger Walton, Ex-President of the Methodist Conference, Britain, and chair of the Yorkshire West District.  Both have written and published extensively and are renowned as excellent teachers and facilitators.  We feel honoured to have them both.

077016_heath030Roger Walton

Registration is now open for this event; you can find out more by downloading the flier here and the registration pack here or by emailing fivedaycsf@btinternet.com

Please note that bursaries or grants towards this kind of Spiritual Formation experience are often available.  Suggestions about accessing such funding can be found here.

Jill Baker, Vice-President, Methodist Conference 2017-18

Five-Day Community 2018

Following a wonderful week for the first-ever Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation to be held in Britain and Ireland in May this year, the team are delighted to be able to announce details of the next Community happening – in May 2018.

The dates: Sunday 13th May (evening) – Friday 18th May (lunchtime)

The venue: Hinsley Hall, Headingley Lane, Leeds

The theme: Community in a fragmented world

The presenters: Dean Elaine Heath, Duke Divinity School, North Carolina and Rev. Dr. Roger Walton, Ex-President of Methodist Conference and Chair Yorkshire West district

The flier with much more detail can be downloaded here.

The registration pack can be downloaded here.

Questions or comments can be emailed to fivedaycsf@btinternet.com


Save the date!

Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation – Save the date!!

Publicity will shortly be circulated for the

2018 “Five-Day Community for Spiritual Formation”

so, for a transformative experience do “save the date”!

 Date: Sunday 13th – Friday 18th May 2018

Venue: Hinsley Hall, Leeds

Speakers: Elaine Heath and Rev Dr. Roger Walton

Theme: Community in a Fragmented World

Price: £675* – the same as 2017.

*Payment by instalments will be available.

You can also find some suggestions re availability of grant/bursary funding for places by clicking on: Five-Day CSF finance

If you would like to receive more information and a registration pack when available, please email: fivedaycsf@btinternet.com