Celtic Summer School At Durham

Nine members of the Community of Aidan and Hilda were among the speakers at The Celtic Summer School held in Durham, attended by over a hundred people. 

 Ken McIntosh, from USA, first led an Open Gate retreat on ‘Fresh Water from an Ancient Well’.  His new book is entitled Reading the Bible the Celtic Way: the Peacock’s Tail Feathers. This comes from Scotus Eriguena, who taught that there are as many ways to read the Bible as there are colours in a peacock’s feathers: instead of using the Bible to put everything in boxes we should use it to open windows.

 Venues included three churches and the cathedral for a concert by Iona the band, led by Dave Bainbridge, who has the bench on the Holy Island Heugh dedicated to his late sister Mo.  Holy Island residents who took part included Mary Fleason who  led an art workshop, and Andy and Anna Raine for an evening of interview and songs.

 Graham Booth came from the Shetlands to talk about Soul friends, and our academic advisor, Professor Ian Bradley, of St. Andrews’ University, gave a roller coaster of researches into the Celtic Christian tradition.  David Cole, a regular Open Gate retreat leader, has become our first monk, and spoke in his green habit about meditation and silence. He will lead a retreat at The Open Gate September  16-20 on Befriending Silence. Ash Barker gave scintillating insights into the Celtic Way in an urban mission situation. Greg Valerio runs a farm in Sussex with a group named Saint Columba Society, and challenged us to work the land with respect for creation. He says monasticism is rooted in the Wisdom Tradition, and that whereas fantasy is indulgence, imagination is a realisation of potential.

 

 A cathedral canon welcomed us with a reading from Bede about Saint Hilda recognizing the gift of song given to the illiterate cowherd Caedmon.  We were encouraged to release the songs locked in every human heart.

 

 Ray

 

 

 

 

Posted at 16:49pm on 16th August 2019
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