RIVERS RETREAT (updated information)

led by Phil Hulks

THE RIVER led by Phil Hulks

21/22 and 28/29 APRIL 2023

Venue:  Stricklands Conference Room and Kings Church, Bangor


The RIVER is a 4-day retreat centred around that moment when Jesus walked into the river to be baptized by his cousin John. As Jesus came up from the water, he emerged to the sound of his Father’s voice speaking words of love and affirmation over him, and to the fluttering of the Holy Spirit who descended on him in the form of a dove. This moment marked the beginning of the most amazing three years anyone has ever lived on earth. The invitation to come into God's river has been extended to us, where we too can have a personal encounter with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.


The focus each morning is on personal encounter, then in the afternoon we tend to turn the focus outwards, looking at how we can give away to others what we have received.

Day 1: Coming into God’s river

.. Understanding the trinity

.. Having a fresh encounter with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit

.. Allowing God’s river to rise in us

.. Walking out to the little stream close to where we are gathering and asking God to speak to us from that place

Day 2: Going deeper with Jesus

.. Surrendering to Jesus

.. Following Jesus through death and into resurrection life

.. The incarnation of Christ

.. The Bride of Christ

Day 3: Intimacy with the Father – the story of the Prodigal Son through Middle Eastern eyes

.. The Father restores

.. The Father initiates

.. The Father gives

.. The Father runs

.. The Father sends

Day 4: Empowered by the Holy Spirit

.. The significance of Jesus’ baptism

.. The Holy Spirit is looking for a dwelling place

.. Living in the power of Jesus’ resurrection

.. Demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit in the community.


RIVERS is a 4-day retreat (split over two consecutive weekends).

Each day will include a variety of experiences including worship, teaching, opportunities to respond for prayer, small group discipleship and time to just soak in God’s river. There will also be a number of practical experience during the four days including prayer walking, healing on the streets etc.


The cost for you to attend the RIVER retreat is free of charge. There will, however, be an opportunity to give a gift and an offering will be taken up at some stage during your retreat. We ask you to prayerfully give generously to support Phil Hulks in his ministry, also Transformations Ireland to bring the River retreat to churches around the country.


The following quotes are from people who have attended the RIVER retreat:

“Inspiring, insightful teaching which has opened the way for deep encounters with God, authentic fellowship and fresh impetus to see other’s lives touched with His tender love.”

“A wonderful way to spend 4 days. The RIVER will lead to bigger things than expected.”

“The RIVER has had such depth, both in teaching and experientially. Powerful, life-changing and enriching.”

“The retreat provided space and a focus and an opportunity to hear from the Lord and think through stuff. Well done. Brilliant.”

“Spirit inspired, gentle, informative and equipping time spent in the RIVER.”


Since this is the first time running the RIVER retreat in Northern Ireland we are inviting some specific individuals to participate. However, if space is available anyone will be able to apply for a place. We will, however, ask you to provide a reference (usually a church leader or church youth leader) to ensure that this is the right experience for you at this time.

Email info@transformations-ireland for further information as it becomes available.


Phil lives in Herne Bay with his wife Rosa. They have one son, Ben, and two wonderful grandchildren, Luke and Noah. Having sold his butchers shop in 1990, Phil made the natural transition from butchery into youth work. Today, Phil has many years’ experience of running missions both in the UK and overseas, and regularly takes teams of young people and adults to Mexico, Moldova and Kenya to build homes for the poor.

.. Phil is passionate about seeing the power of God break out on the streets, as the Church dares to step outside what it can control and flow with where the Holy Spirit leads.

.. In 2014, Phil was completely undone, when he encountered the love of the Father on a 5-day retreat in Watford. It was an experience Phil never fully recovered from, and even now has no desire to do so – preferring to remain undone.

.. Having been made redundant in 2016, an experience that Phil describes as feeling like death, he embarked on the journey of following Jesus through death and into resurrection, taking with him his passions for Holy Spirit power and intimacy with Father.

.. In 2017, Phil ran the first RIVER retreat in Canterbury. The RIVER flows out of Phil’s own journey of going deeper with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

photo *unsplash