Life in the Spirit Seminars 2024

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Thank you for wanting to learn more about Northampton Diocese Life in the Spirit Seminars for 2024!

The Seminars are being run by the Diocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal team under the auspices of Bishop David Oakley and the Mission Northampton Team. (See the FAQ section below for more on the parish, Agency and team). We are delighted to be offering two options for joining the Seminars – in person at the Cathedral Church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Thomas of Canterbury (Northampton Cathedral) and in person at one of our Hub locations around the diocese.

There are five weekday sessions and a half-day retreat at the Cathedral on Pentecost eve Saturday, 18 May.

At the Cathedral and at each hub, the weekday sessions are on Tuesdays (April 16, 23 and May 7 and 21) with refreshments at 6.30pm and the seminar starting at 7:00pm prompt.

The Holy Spirit day will take place on Saturday 18th May (Pentecost Saturday) at 2pm followed by vigil mass at 6pm.

You’ll find below the information you need:

  • to decide if you’d like to take part in the Seminars – we hope you will!
  • to choose the joining option that works best for you
  • to register for your chosen option – which you can do via the “Reserve a spot” button.

    What are Life in the Spirit Seminars?

    Life in the Spirit Seminars comprise a series of talks and discussions held on five weekday evenings and a day retreat, supported by short daily reflections.

    The Seminars are designed as an introduction to a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. They provide an opportunity for you to find out more about that life, and to be helped in taking the first steps of a new relationship with Our Lord.

    They include the opportunity for you to be prayed with for a fuller release of the Holy Spirit to live a deeper Christian life. That’s referred to as being “Baptised in the Spirit”. We’ll explain all about this as the Seminars proceed. It’s nothing to be afraid of – quite the contrary!

    The Life in the Spirit Seminars grew out of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. In 2019, Pope Francis asked CHARIS International – the newly-established Catholic Church entity serving the worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal – to make the Baptism in the Spirit available around the world, to everyone in the Church.

    What are the talk topics?

    • GOD’S LOVE – Tue 16 April – Speaker: TBC
    • SALVATION – Tue 23 April – Speaker: Maria Heath
    • NEW LIFE – Tue 30 April – Speaker: Fr Emmanuel Okami
    • RECEIVING GOD’S GIFTS – Tue 7 May: Pauline Gray
    • RETREAT DAY AT THE CATHEDRAL – Sat 18 May (Pentecost Saturday) – Speaker: Ros Powell. Followed by Vigil Mass of Pentecost at 6pm
    • GROWTH and TRANSFORMATION – Tue 21 May – Speakers: Jenny Baker and Fr Pius Amoako

    Where are the Hubs located?

    If you’d like to come to the Seminars in person but don’t live close enough to Northampton Cathedral, why not join us at one of our “Hub” locations around the diocese listed below? You’ll be given the option of choosing a Hub, when you register.

    The weekly sessions at each Hub will be on Tuesday evening, unless noted below:

    MILTON KEYNES – St Augustine’s Catholic Church, – 1 Langcliffe Drive, Heelands, Milton Keynes. MK13 7PL – from 6:30pm to 9.00 pm

    LUTON – St. John the Apostle, 296 Sundon Park Rd, Luton LU3 3AL

    AYLESBURY – Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church – 69 Camborne Ave, Bedgrove, Aylesbury HP21 7UE

    SLOUGH/BURNHAM – Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Lower Britwell Rd, Burnham, Slough SL2 2NL

    CORBY – Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church –71 Occupation Rd, Corby NN17 1EE.

    BEDFORD/FLITWICK – Christ the King, Harrowden Road, Bedford, MK42 0SP.

    CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY – Cranfield University Chapel, Building 33, College Road, Wharley End, Cranfield, MK43 0AL

    What are my joining options?

    You have three joining options – you can register for any of them by clicking the register here button at the top of this page.


    First option – join us in person at Northampton Cathedral

    We are delighted that our Seminars will this year be based at the mother church of Diocese, the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate & St Thomas of Canterbury at the invitation and with the whole-hearted support of the Dean of the Cathedral, Father Simon Penhalagan and the Cathedral parish.

    Everyone is welcome to come to the Cathedral for the Seminars, whether or not you are members of the Cathedral parish community – though of course we hope that many Cathedral parishioners will take part.

    The Tuesday evening sessions at the Cathedral will start at 6.30 pm with a light refreshments in the St Thomas Centre, before moving into the Cathedral for 7 pm where our Speakers will be giving their talks live. Each talk will be followed by small group discussions back in the St Thomas Centre ending at around 9.00pm.


    Second option – come in person to a local “Hub”

    We are very grateful to the parishes and groups who have agreed to host “Hubs” at different locations around the diocese – listed in the Where are the Hubs located? box above.

    If you live or work within range of a Hub, you can choose to attend the Seminars there, watching the Music Ministry and the talk each week on the Cathedral’s Livestream and taking part in an in-person small group discussion.

    The local organisers for each Hub are deciding for themselves the day and time of the meetings there (they can fix the meetings on a day other than Tuesday, if they wish, using a recording of the Livestream).


    For every option – Retreat Day at the Cathedral, Sat 18 May

    We hope that as many participants as possible – including those meeting in Hubs as well as those attending the Cathedral each week – will gather at the Cathedral in Northampton for our Retreat Day on Pentecost eve Saturday 18 May, from 2pm to 6pm, with the option of staying for the Vigil Mass of Pentecost at 6 pm.

    W e will provide further details of the Retreat Day, and of the alternative arrangements in place for those who cannot attend it, closer to the time.


    Do I have to pay anything?

    There is no charge for the Seminars. We will ask for donations to help us to cover our costs (which include publicity costs and the expenses of our Speakers), but this is completely voluntary.

    Is there a Guidebook?

    Yes, we use a Guidebook for the Life in the Spirit Seminars entitled Finding New Life in the Spirit. The Guidebook includes simple, Scripture-based daily reflections for you to follow in between the weekly sessions. It’s available for just £6.00 plus delivery from Goodnews Books 01582 571011

    Do I have to follow the daily reflections?

    Of course that’s up to you. But we will gently encouraging you to follow them, because they are an integral part of the Seminars, which will help you between the weekly sessions on your journey to find a deeper life in God.

    What is the Northampton Catholic Charismatic Renewal Diocesan team (CDSC)?

    It’s the expression at the diocesan level of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS) set up to support the Catholic Charismatic Renewal around the world. Our team currently has 11 members, representing a variety of the different charismatic groups, communities and ministries in the Northampton Diocese.

    Is Bishop David supportive of the Seminars and the Charismatic Renewal Team?

    The seminars are being organised under the auspices of Bishop David who is fully supportive of the Charismatic Renewal Team which he commissioned in March 2023.

    How did Pope Saint John Paul II describe the Catholic Charismatic Renewal?

    “A grace directed to sanctify the church, to renew in her the taste for prayer, to rediscover, with the Holy Spirit, the sense of gratuitousness, of joyful praise, of confidence in intercession, and to be converted into a new fountain of evangelization.”

    How did Pope Francis describe the Catholic Charismatic Renewal?
    “A current of grace of the Spirit! This current of grace is for all the Church, not just for some, and no one among us is the “master” and all the others servants. No. We are all servants of this current of grace” (June 2017).