School of Celtic Consciousness 2020 With John Philip Newell

July 7, 2020 - July 9, 2020
Offered by Five Oaks Centre
amping – CAD $374.00 Dorm Style – CAD $420.00 Commuter – CAD $370.00 Commuter Option - without breakfast – CAD $350.00 Main Building - Private Room – CAD $510.00 Main Building - Shared Room – CAD $450.00 Summer Cabins – CAD $390.00 (All prices include CAD $350.00 base amount) Base Price includes programming, all meals and snacks, and access to all our facilities. All prices are in Canadian Funds.
1 Bethel Rd.

In 2016 John Philip Newell founded the School of Celtic Consciousness (SCC). He did so in the belief that Celtic wisdom is needed at this moment in time, urgently. It is a Christian spiritual tradition that can nurture vision of mind, strength of soul, and compassion of action.

Five Oaks is the fifth retreat centre to become home for the SCC, and is the only Canadian location of the school. The school convenes annually in the early summer at Five Oaks.

Open to all – you do not need to have attended in 2019 to come in 2020.

SCC Purpose

  • To expand the consciousness of Celtic wisdom through study and reflection.
  • To deepen spiritual practice in the context of Earth’s sacredness.
  • To nurture community and a commitment to compassionate action.

SCC Curriculum

The SCC has a three-year curriculum. In other words, the themes of Year 1 will not appear again until the fourth year of the School. Participants may join at any stage  – (you do not have to have attended last year to come this year). Over a three year period you will receive the full curriculum of teachings.  It is also possible in the three-year program to attend more than one of the school locations, e.g., to take Year 1 elsewhere, and Years 2 or 3 at Five Oaks. The recommended prayer book for the School is Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter.

Year 1  ‘In the Beginning was the Gift’ (Pelagius, St Brigid, and Teilhard de Chardin). Required Reading: Listening for the Heartbeat of God.

Year 2  ‘The Song of the Sacred Earth’ (Eriugena, the Carmina Gadelica, and John Muir). Required Reading: Listening for the Heartbeat of God and The Book of Creation.   

Year 3  ‘Dreaming the Way Forward’ (George MacDonald, Kenneth White, and George MacLeod). Required Reading: Listening for the Heartbeat of God and Christ of the Celts.

(Support small local businesses – Please consider ordering these titles from the Grand River Bookstore, located at Five Oaks.)

Program Format

Our daily schedule will consist of prayer at the beginning and ending of each day, presentations by John Philip Newell, followed by meditative practices, silence, and sharing. Meals will be shared in common with two sittings to easily and comfortably accommodate participants in our dining room.  There will be free time to hike, swim, explore creativity and art, walk our large outdoor Chartres Labyrinth, and rest. We will share in celebration on the last evening together. For the celebration evening, in 2020 we are pleased to welcome a Celtic quartet, The Fair Wind (, as our musical entertainment.

Note that the School of Celtic Consciousness will be the only group on site for the duration of the program, and the gathering tent will be in the field on the lower level of the site at Five Oaks. Please contact us if you have any mobility concerns. As per last year, we will be running a shuttle van between the upper and lower levels.



John Philip Newell, the celebrated author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, is one of the most prominent Christian teachers of spirituality in the Western world. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he now divides his time between Edinburgh, where he does most of his writing, and travelling and teaching internationally. In 2015 he became the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality at Iliff School of Theology in Denver where he offers a course every Spring. The Revd Dr John Philip Newell is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for…
Learn more about John Philip Newell
Categories: Prayer  |  Programs  |  Spirituality