The Centre for Celtic Spirituality

Monthly Charity Lunch

This inter-church lunch takes place on the first Wednesday of every month in 9, Vicars’ Hill at 1:00p.m. Soup, bread and cheese, tea and biscuits are served. All proceeds go to the work of Christian Aid.

Each lunch is preceded by Celtic Prayer at 12:30p.m. in the Cathedral Ladychapel, and all are welcome.

Please note – no lunches during July and August

Dates for Charity lunches in 2014

- None in January

- Wednesday 6th February

- Wednesday 6th March

- Wednesday 3rd April

- Wednesday 1st May

- Wednesday 5th June

- Wednesday 4th September

- Wednesday 2nd October

- Wednesday 6th November

- Wednesday 4th December

I saw a stranger last night.
I put food in the eating place, drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place
and in the sacred name of the Triune,
He blessed myself and my house, my cattle and my dear ones.
And the lark said in her song,
Often, often, often goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise.

(ancient rune of hospitality used by the Iona Community).

Monthly Celtic Prayer

Celtic Prayer is a wonderful experience of worship, drawing on ancient and powerful sources of liturgy and connecting us with the rest of creation.

This service takes place on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:30p.m. in the Cathedral Ladychapel and is usually led by laity of various church denominations. All are welcome.

Dates for Celtic Prayer in 2014

(N.B. No Celtic Prayer on Wednesday 1st January)

February 5th

March 5th (Also Ash WEdnesday)

April 2nd

May 7th

June 4th

July 2nd

August 6th

September 3rd

October 1st

November 5th

December 3rd

A Caim (Encircling) Prayer

Circle us with peace – keep light and love within, keep danger without.

Circle us through this day – keep childlike trust within, keep fear without.

Circle us this night – keep health and peace within, keep dis-ease without.

Deep peace of the quiet earth, deep peace of the flowing air, deep peace of the ocean’s depth, deep peace of the God of peace. Amen.

Be Still, and know that I Am God.


Listening to the wisdom of the island.

For details of this interfaith pilgrimage to Iona see


Centre’s Launch at Navan Centre/Emain Macha, Armagh


The Centre for Celtic Spirituality is delighted to announce the launch of their new location at the Navan Centre at the ancient site of Emain Macha just outside of the city of Armagh, Northern Ireland. The launch was attended by members of the board, patrons, and the Centre’s staff.



The Rev. Dr. Johnston McMaster spoke about the significance of Celtic Spirituality as a source of inspiration in today’s well, remarking particularly on the importance of “drinking from our own wells,” or receiving nourishment from the rich Christian spiritual heritage of these lands.



Following Dr. McMaster’s address, the Rev. Grace Clunie, Director for the Centre for Celtic Spirituality, thanked the board and the patrons for their support throughout the years leading up to this event, and for their encouragement of the work and ethos of the Centre. Rev. Clunie reported that she is offering sabbaticals and study opportunities this summer to a number of international clergy and lay people from a variety of denominations, and in the autumn will be leading a course on “The Celtic Spirit in Literature,” along with Dr Tess Maginess of Queens Open University, which will be held at the Navan Centre in Armagh.



Along with having use of the Navan Centre’s coffee shop, gift shop, AV theatre, workshop room and outdoor living history exhibit, the Centre for Celtic Spirituality also has a designated library for reading, prayer and reflection. Stocked with books on many aspects of Celtic Spirituality, including theology, prayers, history, and culture, this library will undoubtedly be a valuable resource to many coming from near and far to learn about what the Celtic Christian spiritual heritage to offer to our contemporary world.


We offer a prayer for this new chapter for the Centre for Celtic Spirituality and all who seek enrichment and inspiration in this place:

Bless us, Lord, this day with vision.

May this place be a sacred place,

a telling place,

where heaven and earth meet.

(from Celtic Daily Prayer, p. 290)





 These classes will be helpful for anyone seeking a deeper spiritual life – especially anyone interested in exploring basic teaching on Christian meditation as a way to finding stillness and meaning in their life.

The practice is based on the teaching of the Benedictine Monk, John Main, who said – ‘The important aim in Christian meditation is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, everything we are.’

John Main’s work is carried on by the World Community for Christian Meditation and its Director FR LAURENCE FREEMAN OSB clip_image002 (

If you would be interested in learning more about the practice of Christian Meditation, come along to a class and find out more for yourself.

The course continues from Monday 13th January 2014 at The Navan Centre, Armagh – from 10.15a.m. to 11.15a.m. It will continue on alternate Mondays (i.e. twice per month). Cost £25 for 10 classes from January to June 2014. It is also possible to come along to a class occasionally and to pay £3  ‘drop-in’  fee.


January 13, 27

February 10, 24

March 10, 24

April 7, 28

May 12

June 2

John Main said -   “To learn to meditate you have to learn to be silent and not to be afraid of silence…. ..In meditation we cross the threshold from background noise into silence. This is vital for us because silence is necessary if the human spirit is to thrive and to be creative. Silence releases a creative response to life, to our environment and friends because it gives our spirit room to breathe, room to be. In silence we do not have to justify ourselves, apologise or impress anyone. Just be.”

(From Word Made Flesh by John Main, Medi Media, US, 1991.)


The Centre for Celtic Spirituality has a small study library at The Navan Centre with books on pilgrimage, Celtic saints, peace and reconciliation, Celtic Prayer and liturgy, Irish history and mythology and much more. 

It is particularly useful for anyone on a study experience.

There is no charge to use the library, though donations towards the upkeep of the library and the work of The Centre for Celtic Spirituality are very much appreciated.

To ensure you are able to use the library at the time/date that suits you, contact The Navan Centre on

028 3752 9644/9655.





THE SONG OF IMBOLC  (1 February to 31 April)

I am the unopened bud and I am the blossom,

I am the life force gathering to a crest,

I am the still companion of the silence,

I am the farflung seeker of the quest.

I am the daughter gathering in wisdom,

I am the son whose questions never cease,

I am the dawn-light searching out glad justice,

I am the centre where all souls find peace. 


The Spring quarter of Imbolc brings the gift of insight and inspiration, and is a time of beginnings and of essential truthfulness.

It is traditionally the time to appreciate innocence, truth and justice, to make resolutions and plans and to prepare for the enfolding year.

In the human growth cycle, Imbolc corresponds to the period of childhood when all things are questioned or enjoyed for their own sake.Imbolc is a good time to celebrate the lives of all ‘soul mid-wives’, who have taught and prepared us, all who have been upholders of justice and truth, all holy ones who have gone to the heart of the matter with great clarity and insight.

Activities for IMBOLC/ SPRING

 Practice your Craft/ Art/ Skill, with dedication, drawing on the inspiration of your heart.

Clarify your life by Spring-cleaning surroundings and lifestyle. Check and reassess your aims and objectives in life. Bring into focus your plans for the unfloding year.

Plant flowers and vegetables for Summer and Autumn. Identify five plants or trees growing near you.

Walk and meditate outdoors for at least fifteen minutes daily.

Be active, with like-minded others, in defending human rights, world ecology or local issues where injustice cureently prevails.

As you travel through the land of Spring, relate your spiritual journey to the unfolding beauty of this season.

(From Celtic Devotional, by Caitlin Matthews, published by Gill and Macmillan, 1996)




You may be planning to visit The Centre for Celtic Spirituality, Armagh as part of a day out for your group or as part of an international pilgrimage. You can also include other events by checking to see what else may be happening at the same time as your visit.

Check out Events in Armagh throughout the year on the web-site of Armagh City and District Council

For the full Armagh theatre programme see



A day course is being offered by Queen’s University’s Open Learning Programme on Saturday 7th June 2014.

The day begins at 10.30a.m. and finishes at 4.30p.m.


10.30a.m. meet at the old cathedral, Armagh (St Patrick’s Church of Ireland cathedral) for a ‘tour from a Celtic perspective’  led By Grace Clunie MA – highlighting historic aspects of the old cathedral which remind us of the Celtic heritage of this ancient site.

12.30 Lunch at The Navan Centre. You can bring your own lunch and just buy tea/coffee, or you can have lunch in the restaurant at the Navan Centre.

1.30p.m. We travel to Creggan Village, 3 miles from Crossmaglen, where we are led around the South Armagh Poets’ Trail by Dr Tess Maginess. N.B. This will involve some walking.

This day is open to anyone who is interested and also to those who undertook the 10 week course in ‘The Celtic Spirit and Literature.’

For further details and to enrol contact QUB School of Education – Tel: 028 9097 3323/3539



THE HEROIC JOURNEY WORKSHOP Saturday 4th October 2014

The psychologist and mythologist, Joseph Campbell identified a common theme connecting many ‘indigenous’ spiritualities – including Celtic Spirituality. Their stories tell about the hero or heroine who is ‘called’ outwards from the familiar place to experience something completely new. These stories teach us that it requires courage to step outside of the familiar and to follow the call of the heart. This is why it’s ’the Heroic Journey’. This heroic journey has much to teach us about our own life journey. Joseph Campbell said – ‘I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.’


The heroic journey often leads the traveller into difficult and testing situations, but he/she returns from the journey a changed and more compassionate human being to share their gifts of wisdom and insight. The journey is also about the discovery of YOUR GIFT. The word in the Irish is DAN – which means both your poetry and your destiny – for your destiny is interlinked with the practice of your gift in this world. Because we are all individuals, no one can offer your gift to the world in exactly the same way as you can.

This workshop takes us on a personal journey and enables self exploration to uncover your giftedness and to hear ‘the call’ to the most exciting journey of your life – the Heroic Journey.

This workshop will be available on Saturday 4th October 2014 at The Navan Centre, Armagh from 10a.m. to 4p.m.

If you would like to do this workshop, or would like more information, get in touch (details on the CONTACT page) and submit your Contact details. The cost of the day will be published nearer the time as it’s being offered through QUB Open Learning and they will set the rate for the day.

There is a coffee shop and restaurant on site where you can buy morning tea/coffee and lunch (refreshments not included).

The Journey (by Mary Oliver)

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice -

though the whole house began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognised as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do -

determined to save

the only life that you could save.

So the heroic journey of finding your own voice and your ‘DAN’ begins…………………


SACRED LIVING – An introduction to Celtic Spirituality – A six-part Study Course to order.

This Six part study course is available to order as a PDF document.
It is written as a simple introduction to six themes of Celtic Christian Spirituality – Creation, Hospitality, A Way of Living, Creative Spirituality, Pilgrimage and The Other World.
Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion and reflection – for individuals or for group discussion and action.

This introduction will be useful for anyone seeking basic information about Celtic Spirituality, anyone preparing for a pilgrimage journey, groups seeking new material for study and anyone who wants to be inspired in new ways of living. It also contains a section on further resources for reading and for further study.

“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”

1. Go the web-page marked ‘Donate.’

2. Click on the ‘Donate’  button at the bottom of the page.

3. Send £25 to The Centre for Celtic Spirituality via PayPal. This money will go towards the work of The Centre, which is both non-profit and inter-church with a focus on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

4. When we receive your payment, we will send you your own copy of Sacred Living: Practical Inspirations for the contemporary Spiritual Journey as a PDF document to download. You also have the author’s permission to make copies for your own use, individually or in group situations such a small study groups. (However, please note that this work is copy-righted and cannot be re-sold for commercial gain).