nethersprings home of northumbria ministries


These newsletters outline the ‘marriage’ between The Nethersprings Trust and Northumbria Ministries. Key moment, a prelude to the establishment of The Northumbria Community.

Shirley and Linda kept in touch during the years that followed Bible College. Occasional cards, photographs and news of their growing families. It was natural for Linda to request that the Searles be put on the mailing list to receive news of Nethersprings.

It was news of the Nethersprings that would rekindle the relationship between the Searles and the Skinners. Ever practical, Shirley sent a cheque for ten pounds to support the vision. Weeks later, Roy would invite John to come and speak to the folk from Northumbria Ministries during their retreat on Holy Island.

This was the major turning point in the establishment of The Northumbria Community, and the single most importantevent following the years of pioneering.

The joining together of Northumbria Ministries and The Nethersprings was a reflection of the covenant relationship entered into by John and Roy on an earlier occasion at Old Bewick. Roy describes this as a marriage between the ‘apostolic and the prophetic.’ For John, it was the symbol of the relationship between ‘monastery and mission.’ It was the beginning of the establishment of The Northumbria Community.

Roy was representative of many who would follow later. A faithful Christian, (and Pastor) he was intuitively aware of the radical changes taking place in society and the challenge this posed for the People of God. He was intuitively aware of the confusion and concern felt by many believers who felt that their faith and belief no longer seemed adequate to meet the challenge of a new era of human self consciousness and self determination. For most people this is an awareness that is felt before it is understood. In his own search for coherence and understanding, Roy had begun to anticipate the spirituality expressed in the upper and nethersprings now finding a focus in new monasticism. At the Nethersprings he had found a home not only for himself but for the many who would follow after him. Nethersprings Home of Northumbria Ministries was the prelude to The Northumbria Community. John, Linda and Andy had laid the foundations, supported by Chris and Sandra and a number of faithful friends. Now Roy would join them, and make his own contribution in the building and establishing of the Northumbria Community.

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