Our Story (so far)
Our story begins with the arrival of Bishop Martyn in Leicester, in 2016, carrying a vision for a praying community of young people. Within a year, Rachel Bennetts was appointed Prior of the Community. Alan and Lesley Humphrey joined her on team.
Rachel started gathering people to pray and seek God together. As months passed, a small locally dispersed community formed and a charism of prayer and formation emerged. Our Rule of Life, centred on the Gospel invitation of John 15, began to take shape.
The Diocese purchased a home for the Community in the city centre (opposite Leicester Cathedral), on the site of an ancient Franciscan Friary. The back garden of the house used to be part of the now famous car park, where the bones of King Richard III were unearthed. Reconstruction and refurbishment of the former council building began in September 2018, under the guidance of Project Manager, Andrew Nutter.
Sub Prior, Matt Long joined the existing team and concepts started becoming realities. The first two residential members, Isaac and Tom, joined us in February 2019 for six months. In March 2019, eleven community members (both residential and dispersed) stood before Bishop Martyn, to make a Community Promise. The community moved in to the completed community house in April 2019.
We welcomed our first international cohort in September 2019. Residential members joined from Frankfurt, Germany and Wyoming, USA (link Diocese), as well as Leicester! Unfortunately, the impact of coronavirus forced us to close the residential community, and residential members travelled home at Easter 2020.
Our first year taught us many lessons about community life and we grew into our vocation as a house of prayer: praying a threefold daily office, sharing meals, serving local ministries and responding to invitations to lead creative prayer in different contexts.
During the summer 2020, we remodelled our residential year and established some exciting new partnerships with the New Wine Discipleship Year, local Churches and other missional organisations. We were overjoyed to welcomed ten young adults to the residential community in September 2020. [Meet them here] Our locally dispersed community of Companions continues to grow.