• Camping – CAD $369.00
  • Commuter – CAD $365.00
  • Commuter Option - without breakfast – CAD $345.00
  • Summer Cabins – CAD $385.00
  • (All prices include CAD $345.00 base amount)

Base Price includes programming, all meals and snacks, and pool access at designated times. All prices are in Canadian Funds.

Date & Time Details: Tuesday July 2, 2019. Registration at 4:00 pm followed by supper, Ends with lunch on Thursday July 4, 2019

Location: Main Building, Chalet, Cabins, Camping (bring your own tent or trailer)

Address: Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre 1 Bethel Road, Paris, ON N3L 3E3

The Program Team
(519) 442 - 3212

Email us about program

School of Celtic Consciousness 2019

With John Philip Newell

July 2 - 4, 2019

Tuesday, July 2 – Registration 4:00 pm followed by supper. Ends with lunch on Thursday, July 4.

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 will convene annually in the early summer at Five Oaks.

Open to all – you do not need to have attended in 2018 to come in 2019.

Please note: 

Single and Shared rooms in Main Building and Chalet are sold out. 

Options available are Rustic cabins, Camping (provide your own tent or trailer), or off-site accommodations arranged privately.  We would love to welcome you on-site, but if you need other accommodations please explore local Airbnb, Bed & Breakfast or Motel accommodations – a wide variety is available within a 15 minute drive – look at Brantford, Paris, south Cambridge and smaller towns like Burford. If you have offsite accommodations, you can register as a ‘commuter’ participant with all meals provided or just lunch and dinner provided.

As of mid-May, 2019, the event is about 95% full.  Please register soon if you are thinking about registering.  There are no refunds on fees paid after 30 May 2019. Until 30 May, refund is less 30%


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 at Five Oaks, and Years 2 and 3 elsewhere. 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.   (Support small local businesses – Please consider ordering these from the Grand River Bookstore, located at Five Oaks.)

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.


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.

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.




John Philip Newell
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