1. The Call To Community

The call to community 1995 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 their pioneering work in Europe.

Call to Community Introdution

Chapter 1 C

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… (READ MORE)



To get to the foundation of the Northumbria Community you have to dig deep, and dig we must, for if we become distant from our beginning, we are vulnerable to loss of meaning in the present and without direction for… (READ MORE)

Northumbria Community Founders


Founders You never know in the routine of your day when a chance meeting, a stray word in a conversation or an unforeseen event will change the course of your life. The moment will probably go unnoticed and only later… (READ MORE)


john & linda skinner

John and Linda would pioneer the place of the Nethersprings and cultivate a spirituality that would find focus in a new monasticism. Although John and Linda are no longer at the heart of the Northumbria Community they continue to have… (READ MORE)


andy raine

(We have chosen a selection of biographical details for Andy, John and Linda which give clues to their self understanding and contribution to the ethos of the community) Andy brought a contagious affection for the holy island of Lindisfarne a… (READ MORE)


chris & sandra haggerstone

Chris and Sandra Haggerstone deserve a special mention in the same breath as the founders of the community. Their association with Andy, and in particular, John and Linda goes back to the very beginnings. They were pioneers of the Nethersprings,… (READ MORE)


ravensdowne home

A Home – Ravensdowne In anticipation of the arrival of their new baby John and Linda were getting ready to move into their new home. Some what reluctantly Berwick County Council had offered them a four bedroom, three reception room,… (READ MORE)

Easter Workshops OK!

easter workshops

The workshops were to be small schools of creativity a place for sharing vision a time of sharing and joining together as one. At Jarrow, the Priest decided at the last minute to cancel the venue. Months of planning were… (READ MORE)


faithful friends

The years of pioneering the Northumbria Community were full of hardships and difficulties. The nature of the journey meant there could be no career or full-time employment, no social definition, no regular income. There could be no permanent home and… (READ MORE)


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… (READ MORE)


trevor & freda miller

Trevor and Freda have a long association with the Northumbria Community which reaches deep into the formative years. From interested family members (Freda and John are brother and sister) they became prayerful and practical supporters, close and trusted friends, students… (READ MORE)


northumbrian saints

Dr. Rex Gardner. An excellent introduction to the environment and characters of the early Northumbrian Church. Part of the Internal emigres series. Click below to download The Northumbrian Church (unedited lecture 1991)


Northumbria Rule (Picture Version)

This is a ‘kids picture  copy’ of the original Northumbria Rule…Andy Raine spent hours cutting, pasting and copying to put this together. No Copyright for this so please do not reproduce….  


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… (READ MORE)


old bewick

Brother Harold a local hermit and Brother Roland chatted as they walked along the secluded lane that leads to the Church of the Holy Trinity at Old Bewick. It’s a ten minute walk before you reach the end of the… (READ MORE)