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Life in the Spirit seminars and forming new prayer groups




Alastair Emblem, Core Group Leader of ADoRE (Alton Day of Renewal*), explains how an online Life in the Spirit course can be used to start new Parish Prayer Groups, or revitalise old ones.


I have been excited by the recent resurgence of Life in the Spirit seminars around the country. In the South of England alone, a course has just started (June 2024) in Portsmouth Diocese; and the seminars have just finished in Southwark and Arundel & Brighton Dioceses. They are also taking place and flourishing in the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese, and I’m aware of some parish-based Life in the Spirit courses.


The thought suddenly came to me (definitely inspired by the Holy Spirit) that we at ADoRE have a ready-made resource we can offer to parishes, prayer groups and individuals who want to respond to the invitation of Pope Francis: "I would ask you to share baptism in the Holy Spirit with everyone in the Church.”


Back in 2021, our programme for the year was “Alive in the Spirit – filled with all the fullness of God.” This was based on the classic seven Life in the Spirit sessions, plus an additional four sessions to follow up and consolidate the main course. We had talks by inspiring speakers including Jenny Baker, Maria Heath, Ros Powell, Geoff and Gina Poulter, Fr. Anthony Meredith and Fr. Gareth Leyshon.


These sessions all took place on Zoom, in the aftermath of Covid, and we recorded videos for our YouTube channel. We also had recordings of personal testimonies and praise and worship for each session.


It is these videos, plus weekly reflection and prayer sheets for participants, that we are now encouraging people to use when running their own Life in the Spirit courses. All resources are free, but we invite donations to help us extend our mission. The videos can be streamed from our website to a large group, if a Parish has a computer linked to a projector; but I can also envisage a small prayer group gathering round a laptop to watch in someone’s home.


It could be really helpful in places where there is currently no prayer group-just one or two people with a vision for renewal, who might invite two or three others to a low-key, home-based seminar course. This could then be the spark that starts a prayer group and ultimately a Parish revival. Full details can be found at https://www.altonrenewal.com/2021


I’m writing this on the feast of St. Barnabas, known as the “Son of Encouragement” who greatly encouraged St. Paul in the early stages of his ministry; and I pray that he will encourage many people in the UK, and indeed anywhere in the world, to use these resources to fan into a flame the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God.


  • ADoRE is a monthly mini-retreat morning, mostly on Zoom, with Mass, Adoration, Prophecy, Praise, Testimony, Teaching and Prayer for renewal and healing. For programme and registration details see: https://www.altonrenewal.com/2024



1 Comment


We ran The Gift, a life in the Spirit course in our parish, St Teresa of lisieux, Lexden, Colchester, well before the pandemic. We had over 50 parishioners attend. We did it properly. We prayed for it, but not a lot came of it. Only 1 person joined the prayer group. We would like to run the course that is currently being used and would like to have the format and film clips etc. Alex McArthur 07712812473

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