The Call to Community that took place in 1995 (Community Council Chapter)
was one of the most significant moments
in the life of the Northumbria community.
It marked the beginning of a challenging and painful
three year period of transition where the responsibility
for the vision care and administration of the community
passed from the founders and the few who shared that responsibility
to the many who now were the Northumbria community.
The Northumbria Community
had come of age
How had it all begun?
It was in 1977 that Andy Raine introduced himself to
John and Linda Skinner.Together they would become
the founders of the Northumbria community.
Andy brought to the relationship
a contagious affection
for the holy island of Lindisfarne,
a love of the Northumbrian saints
and the seeds of a vision
which was beginning to find
clarity in the language
of the upper and nether springs.
John and Linda would give to
Andy a home from which to base his
itinerant ministry, a refuge and meeting place
for many other folk, a place of the nethersprings
and the seeds of a spirituality
that would find a focus in a new monasticism.
Together they would organise Easter workshops
which would become the focus of the covenant of community.
For the next ten years
their way of living
shared with faithful friends
would find expression in the rule and
the Northumbrian office that provided the
foundation of the Northumbria community.
Northumbria ministries was led
by a baptist minister from Sunderland, Roy Searle.
A former college contemporary
of John they would rekindle a
relationship expressed in
a partnership; nethersprings
home of Northumbria ministries
a prelude to Northumbria community
a covenant relationship
sealed at Old Bewick.
Roy would bring a vision for and a commitment
to Northumbria. He became an ambassador of the
upper and nether springs, an apostle of a new monasticism
and a partner in leadership of the Northumbria community.
The founders and the few
saw the establishment
of the Northumbria community,
the formation of a trust and a trading company.
Hetton hall become the mother house of the
community.The publication of the office book
and the beginning of a European vision, the Celtic arc.
The rapid growth of the community
meant the responsibilities
and liabilities of community life
fell on a few. The burden was too great.
This led to the call to community.
John and Linda hoped
to begin pioneering work in
Europe but agreed to stay until
the leadership of the community
was restructured a further two years.
This led to the re-formation of
the community council.
It also began a period of preparation for Trevor Miller
who would work alongside Roy as a leader of the community.
In January 1998 at Bradford cathedral
John and Linda handed to Roy and Trevor
and the community council the responsibility
they shared for the Northumbria community.
With Andy they would be available for the
spiritual direction of the community
and in return receive love and support for