As we prepare to welcome our first novices in February next year, Bishop Martyn is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Long to be the Novice Guardian.
As Novice Guardian, Matt will be part of the Community’s senior management team with the Prior, Rachel and the Warden, Alan. His role will be organising the teaching and learning components of the formation year; and coordinating the novices’ service in prayer, mission and justice.
Matt and his family spent five years as full time missionaries in France with the Bless Network, living in intentional Christian community in an old cider farm in Normandy that was a centre for missional training and prayer. He was responsible for establishing a daily rhythm of community prayer and shared meals whilst mentoring and supporting the young interns who came to France for short-term mission trips.
Matt trained in Theology, Youth and Community Work at St John’s Nottingham and served in two churches before the move to France. He has a passion for creative prayer and has coordinated the Prayer House at Spring Harvest and Prayer Spaces at Youthwork the Conference for several years. Most recently, he has been doing pioneering work with a homelessness charity called House of Bread in Stafford where he has transformed an unused piece of grassland into a fruitful, award winning community garden.
Matt writes, “I am passionate about planting places of prayer and have spent the last 15 years inspiring emerging generations to pray like it all depends on God and live like it all depends on them. I’m so excited to join the Community of the Tree of Life and to see what happens as we align ourselves with God-at-work in Leicester. I am energised by quiet corners, coastal walks and the creativity of the city. I enjoy slow food, good coffee and craft beer.”
Bishop Martyn commented, “Matt will bring real energy, wisdom and experience to our new community. I am so pleased that he has agreed to make this step of faith and join the growing team of people laying the foundations for this new venture.”
Matt will start work in September and assist with the recruitment of novices and preparation for the Seed Community starting in early 2019.