roy searle


Roy brought a vision for and a commitment to northumbria. He became an ambassador of the upper and nether springs and an apostle of a new monasticism and a partner in leadership of the northumbria community .

Roy had been a Baptist minister for several years when he began to sense a further direction for his vocation. Both of his pastorates had been in the North of England and over the years he had begun to develop a wider ministry encouraging and supporting other churches and their leaders in ministry and mission. This ministry was shared with other friends and associates and had found a focus in Northumbria Ministries;

`Covenanted together in the love of Jesus, we are a group of Christian friends who share a common vision and concern to see God’s Kingdom extended in the area covered by the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria, from the Forth to the Humber.’

This commitment to Northumbria had further been strengthened by a word of encouragement from Don Bridge, an elder statesman in the Baptist Church in the North East. He had seen a picture of Northumbria, dark, but with beacons of light growing and pushing back the darkness. He saw Roy in the picture, with bands of other folk, traveling around the area, fanning into flame and giving encouragement to what God was already doing in the region. In 1992 Roy and Shirley moved to be near the upper and nether springs. Roy found coherence and substance for this new direction in his vocation in the spirituality of the upper and nether springs. He would need time to immerse himself in the unfamiliar ethos of both the contemplative and monastic tradition, and many of the foundational aspects of the community developed by John and Andy.  Roy’s distinctive contribution to the establishment of the Northumbria Community was acting as a bridge between the Church and those individuals who like himself were seeking a way for living that gave meaning to their Christian journey. He became the forerunner to the many who would come after him.

Roy became an apostle of a new monasticism taking what he had learned in the anonymous environment of the Nethersprings to a more public arena. Through music, drama, dance and story the same question made known in quiet to the first pioneers of community was now heard in public;”Who is it that you seek?” Many would hear the Call to Community and find coherence and companionship from participation in the life of the Northumbria Community and exposure to the monastic way. Each in turn would need to discern if this participation and exposure was a prelude to the invitation to embrace the monastic vocation. A vocation that both intimately embraces while at the same time fundamentally transcends the call to community. This is the challenge of a new monasticism.

Together Roy, John and Andy guided the community through a period of rapid growth and establishment. He helped establish Hetton Hall, the Trading Company, Members and Companions, Mission Teams and Networks. As Chairman of the Sonset Trust Roy demonstrated his support for John and Linda and their vision of the Celtic Arc, taking a new monasticism into Europe. Roy is a current leader of the Northumbria Community.

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