About Us

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CANA is a network of people responding to the new impulse of Spirit at this time.

Many of us recognise its resonance with the teachings of Jesus as a way of transformation.

Our hope is to rediscover and re-imagine a path leading towards a more universal spirituality that can operate with respect for all living creatures, a path of love and service for the betterment of all.

This is not just about the transformation of the individual, but the global shift of humanity to a higher way of being and of love that Jesus termed ‘the realm of God’.

Our purpose:

To build a framework, resourcing and enabling a path of transformation towards Oneness, journeying together on a pilgrimage from our Christian roots.

Towards Universal Spirituality: Journeying with Christianity

We are developing an open learning programme encouraging the journey towards universal spirituality, discovering a deeper meaning in the Christian message and the love connecting us all. The intention in the longer term is to offer a multi-faceted approach that can be supported both online and by distance learning.


Some form of meditation or contemplation is a fundamental part of our spiritual practice (read more).

Group meditation

To enhance our individual meditations a number of us have agreed to link together at the time of full moon, opening ourselves to the highest purpose for the highest good and building a pathway towards a universal spirituality.

We also meditate together with a focus on Praying for the Planet at the new moon when we remember our beautiful planet in prayer, meditation, awareness or involvement, with love, hope and gratitude.

If you would like to join us and receive email reminders, then contact info@cana.org.uk

Spiritual Practice: Silence by the Sea

We offer this 4-day retreat in Dorset each year, exploring the wisdom tradition and the practice of intentional silence to help us deepen our receptivity to spiritual awakening and inner transformation read more.

Being a CANA contributor

We welcome all who want to join us in holding the vision for a new working of Spirit leading to a better way for humanity and our planet.

Your contribution can be:

Intentional/prayerful including joining with us for our group meditations.

Participating in our courses, events or retreats.

Reading and responding to our newsletter and website.

Financial. We appreciate donations which help us develop our course material, newsletter, website and other resources. You can send a cheque made out to CANA to Jane Upchurch, 20 Manor Road, Ruislip, Middx HA4 7LB, (01895 639476), or donate via the website. A regular standing order is particularly helpful, suggested amount £20+. For any queries contact info@cana.org.uk

How we started

The first of two well attended conferences entitled ‘Christians Awakening to a New Age’ was held in 1991. Exposure to teaching from other faiths and learning to meditate had caused people to re-examine their Christian beliefs. Many experienced a great relief in finding others who were similarly expanding their understanding of Christianity and CANA was formed. Later, the name was changed to ‘Christians Awakening to New Awareness’.  A great supporter and aid was Father Adrian Smith, a Catholic priest and former missionary. His retreats, workshops and many books including A New Framework for Christian Belief, Tomorrow’s Christian and Tomorrow’s Faith inspired many early CANA members.

In subsequent years of conferences, retreats and sharing, groups were held around the country, and our numbers grew. In 1999 a group of members created a study paper entitled Exploring Ways Forward for Christians in the Twenty-First Century. Later we published a book, A New Framework for Christian Belief. These have been followed by a number of study papers and a further book, Awakening to a New Awareness: stories of contemporary Christians.

Living Christ Consciousness

In December 2013 at a residential core group meeting, the discussion focussed on the group’s priorities. There was a clear sense of a strong impulse to live Christ Consciousness. That is, to do the contemplative practices that affect consciousness, but not to rest there.  The Christ impulse has always been about living in the world from a place of renewed consciousness (being in the world, but not of the world). The image of Christ as both God and Man – spirit and matter – exemplifies this. Jesus called his disciples to do greater things than he did. We understand this to mean he calls each one of us to be a Christ.  Read more

Areas of Interest

  1. Global Shift. We are in a new era, with many different aspects and understandings. A global shift in human consciousness is spoken of around the world. On an esoteric level, new energies are understood to be entering the field of humanity, bringing paradigm shifts in understanding the reality in which we exist. We hope a new harmony is approaching and there may emerge a universal spirituality that goes beyond religious divisions and enhances peaceful co-existence.
  2. Personal Transformation. This is a radical movement from self-centredness towards a more compassionate and holistic awareness. It involves a lifetime commitment to inner growth. The teachings and example of Jesus are an inspration for this journey.
  3. Rethinking Christian Practice. The deepest mystical experience of humanity is of oneness with the divine. This is a journey of transformation and soul development. Practices to help us on the journey include meditation, mindfulness and contemplative prayer as a means to rise above the ego-centred, dualistic self to the place of Christ Consciousness or non-dual consciousness.
  4. Rethinking God and Jesus – God is seen as the one presence in which we live and move and have our being, the compassionate consciousness that sustains us and in which we are all one. Perceptions of Jesus as a Wisdom teacher of transformational love are re-emerging, a man who attained the divine potential for all humanity and blazed a path for us to follow.
  5. Rethinking the Bible – Literalist understandings of the Bible are challenged. Other gospels, particularly Thomas, give new insights into the Wisdom tradition within Christianity – or was it the original Christianity? The Charter for Compassion states, “We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate.” [http://www.charterforcompassion.org] This calls for radical revisioning of any interpretations of scripture that are tribal, patriarchal, misogynistic and anthropomorphic and overly anthropocentric, helping us to move from our roots to our future.
  6. Rethinking Theology. Writers and theologians, pushing forward the edges of Christian understanding, are giving us new insights into the traditional faith. Doctrines of atonement and sacrifice are interpreted in fresh ways that chime with our understanding of the universe today, not 500 years ago. Mining of the deep seams of Celtic, Esoteric and Mystical Christianity is bringing new riches to the surface, helping us to move on from fixed doctrine to fullness of life. This helps to build a bridge from the old to the new.
  7. Rethinking Church and Community. Much more involvement of the laity in ministry is a move already happening. This is bringing fresh impetus – more use of silence and creative times of worship. New thinkers are bringing in fresh expressions of traditional prayers, hymns and liturgy and different ways of being ‘church.’
  8. Wholeness and Healing. Reinterpretation of the original meaning of salvation shows the link with healing and wholeness, not for some future glory, but for life in all its fullness now. This is the way of being modelled by Jesus, a healer. Healing potential is there for us all, accessing the divine healing energy that is a part of this reality in which we exist.
  9. Opening to Love. Although it is often hard to perceive, we hold that humanity is evolving towards a more compassionate and caring global society. CANA encourages the path of transformational love and opening of the heart centre at all levels of connection with life. This is the ‘kingdom of heaven’ of which Jesus spoke.
  10. Science and Spirituality. There are signs that science and spirituality are converging around the areas of consciousness and oneness. The idea that consciousness is the ground of being from which all material reality emerges is gaining ground as a theory that gives huge insights into religious and spiritual experiences.
  11. Planetary Consciousness. We recognise that we are part of the biosphere of the earth with all the spiritual, environmental and biochemical implications implied. This needs considering in any new formulation of Christianity. We are part of this interconnected, sacred web of life, and have a responsibility towards it.
  12. Continuity of Consciousness. We recognise the importance of the inner life, the understanding of the nature of the soul journey and the continuity of consciousness as the soul moves to other realms of existence at the end of life.
  13. Community Building. The outward expressions of this transformational, inner journey contribute to the global shift towards a more compassionate world. We hope to create networks and links that will contribute to community building at many levels and help to promote the new consciousness that is emerging.
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