Koinonia Life in the Spirit
Retreat at Buckden Towers 2015
Fresh Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
is an ecumenical Christian university
student group based in central London, UK.
Members are from different Christian
traditions: Anglicans, Catholics,
Evangelicals, Orthodox and Protestants.
Koinonia aims at being an intentional
community where Christian faith comes alive,
whether it be through prayer, conversations,
growth in Christian life or time spent
To kick-start our new year, Koinonia
hosted a three-day Life in the Spirit Seminar at
Buckden Towers at the start of January. While the
retreat may only have been planned to help
establish a student outreach in Cambridge, it was
certainly a very fruitful and enriching experience
for all of us that attended from London.
On arriving at the village of Buckden – located 30
minutes west of Cambridge – we immediately entered
into a time of fellowship, which was a key element
of the retreat. That same evening we were given
our first talk which included an outline of the
Christian faith, as well as how it is often
misconceived. However what surprised me is that
despite my Christian upbringing and involvement in
a Sword of the Spirit community, it felt as if I
was hearing it all for the first time. But this
was also the case with several others I spoke to
at the time, and is testament to how actively the
Spirit was working within us.
Some of the highlights of my involvement
in Koinonia this past year, times that brought
me closer to God and closer to my friends, were
moments of what we in Koinonia-lingo call
'profound encounters'. Our second day
involved a series of talks and testimonies which
were given in preparation for the prayer meeting
being held that evening. Since many of us were
attending our first Life in the Spirit seminar, we
were taught how to be open to receiving the Holy
Spirit, as well as how it would bring us new life.
Throughout the duration of the retreat we would
meet with a small discussion group in response to
each talk, and share about what we had taken out
of them. We also had one to one meeting with our
The evening was then taken as an opportunity to
worship and pray over each member of our
respective discussion groups. I think one
important thing to mention is that if you asked
everyone who attended the retreat what happened at
the prayer meeting, no two people would give you
the same answer. Within my own group we felt
inclined to pray for a number of the spiritual
gifts, and were enabled by the Spirit to encourage
one another through prophetic words and scripture.
God blessed us as both individuals and an
outreach, and I therefore greatly anticipate
placing further emphasis on our evangelism during
this next academic term.
James Mead is a first year student of Physics
at Imperial College London. He has been a key
member of Koinonia
for the last seven months. James grew up in Antioch
Community in London, UK.