As I look back over this past year, I wonder over the many surprises, challenges and gifts it has brought. No one imagined that living as a ‘single household bubble’ was going to be easy, or that it would go on for seven months of our ten! It’s a huge answer to prayer that we have stayed free of the virus all year. Our members have been gracious with one another in some trying times and we have all learned more about ourselves – our need for togetherness and our need for solitude.
This year has been very different because most of our resident members have been serving as interns at churches with two studying on youth work degree courses. We’ve had to adapt our shared rhythms, but we’ve learned that the essential community building practices are sharing food, making time to listen to each other and worshipping together. We are delighted that the churches who have sent us their interns this year have confirmed the value of the Community experience and want to continue the partnership.
Through the year, we have enjoyed collaborating with other partners on various prayer-projects. Leicester Cathedral has adopted our monthly 24 hours of non-stop prayer as part of their rhythm and we have been invited to create prayer resources to accompany the Gaia Earth installation and the new summer prayer trail around the Cathedral. We have written prayer resources for the Diocesan Racial Equity Strategy and played a part in leading worship at various diocesan events.
With Launde Abbey and the Cathedral, we have facilitated online courses – the Difference Course and a new series of workshops called Every Day Spirituality – watch out for invitations to these and again in the coming year.
In September we will welcome our third cohort of resident members, it looks set to be even larger than last year with a wonderful diversity of backgrounds, cultures and gifts. Using our Support Fund, we have created three placements on the team for resident members and we are excited to see how this will enable us to develop our ministry as a House of Prayer: creating prayer resources, hosting prayer events and especially connecting into networks of youth, student and young adults in the city and county.
With this newsletter, we make a new and special invitation to those of you who have journeyed with us for a while.
We value your prayers and support immensely and we would like to recognise the part you play in the development of the Community’s vision.
We see a wide and growing circle of people standing around the Community as friends and we invite you to become one of those Friends. Click here to find out more.
This comes at a time when the impact of the pandemic on the diocesan finances is creating a climate in which difficult funding decisions must be made. We know that the Community has a valued place