Saturday 21st March – a Northumbrian Retreat

In his recent book on Liberton Kirk, Richard Purden reminds us of the often forgotten journey that the Christan Gospel took on its way to Liberton. It was first brought by Ninian to Whithorn, than borne by Patrick, one of his disciples, to Ireland, brought back by Columba to Iona, and from there, by his disciples, to the Isle of Lindisfarne in Northumbria, where eventually Oswald, the local King, responded and was baptised.

At that time Edinburgh was a pagan city, but when Northumbria expanded its boundaries to cover a wider region stretching from the Humber to the Forth, the Gospel was finally brought to us by Aiden and Cuthbert. Here at Liberton we have a particular link with our Northumbrian roots following the discovery of the ‘Liberton Cross’ – a celtic stone cross of Northumbrian design which was found in a local field and now has its home in the National museum of Scotland. lib_cross

As part of our bi-centennial celebrations we plan to draw once again on the Northumbrian spirituality which first brought our faith to us. To this end we are planning a pilgrimage down the old ‘St Cuthberts Way’ to Lindisfarne. But, in preparation for this, and also for those who cannot make this trip, we are inviting Northumbria to Liberton.

RoySearle On Saturday 21st March we have invited Roy Searle, current leader of the Northumbria Community*, to lead us in a day long retreat in Liberton Kirk. Roy is one of the advocates of ‘new monasticism’ – a movement which is currently sweeping our land, encouraging us to re-discover the ancient ways of spirituality and apply them to our own culture and context. During our time together Roy will lead us in exploring different forms of worship and prayer – drawn from our Celtic and Northumbrian roots but applied and practised in a 21st Century context.

A quick look around at the spiritual health of our city might encourage the view that it’s time for Edinburgh to re-discover the way of Jesus. Here at Liberton we hope this retreat will give us the opportunity to spend time together, re-focussing our faith and re-discovering our mission. Everyone is welcome, so please come and join us**.

Much love,

“Stand at the crossroads and look,
ask for the ancient paths.
Ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
(From the Oswald Declaration)

*For more details of Roy and the Northumbria Community – see

**(There are sign-up sheets at the Welcome Desks or you can contact me on 664 3067;

Posted on 24/02/2015, in Articles, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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