23rd December 2019

Christmas Greetings

Christmas greetings to you all. Thank you for journeying with us through this momentous year.

We look back with immense gratitude to God for the exciting path we have travelled in 2019. This time last year, we were eagerly expecting the arrival of our first novices and anticipating our move into the Community House. It all seems a long time ago!

In February, Tom Burditt and Isaac Ford joined us. It was exciting to work with them and the other Companions toward the first Community Promise Service at the beginning of March. Looking back, we can begin to see the transformative power of standing together to make such a Promise and then living it out in shared practices and rhythms.

Keeping the Beat – Rhythms and Practices

It’s taken time to establish good weekly rhythms, but since we moved into the House in April we’ve been experimenting with our nine practices and discovering what helps us live, work and play well together.

Our daily pattern of prayer in the morning, lunchtime and night is the single most unifying practice that we share. We put that in first and work everything else around the framework it provides. In a similar way, we are discovering that our weekly practices of Sabbath and the Desert morning of solitude are anchors that hold us and keep us steady when life gets busy and the pressures mount.

New Novices

In September Sophie Reiss, from Germany and Allison Gross, from Wyoming, USA, joined us. It’s been huge fun to learn about their cultures and eat some of their favourite foods. Highlights have been Thanksgiving and the German Raclette dinner with which we celebrated the end of term. Next year we hope to welcome novices from our other link Dioceses in Tanzania and India.

Practices of Justice, Work and Blessing

Placements have seen our novices visiting rural primary schools delivering RE lessons on prayer and collaborating with The Well in Kibworth – a missional café, drop in and prayer room on the local high street. We have set up a Prayer Trail at Spring Harvest, served at the Glastonbury Festival, led worship for Diocesan events and offered chaplaincy at the recent Diocesan Head teacher’s Conference. Next term the novices will be exploring Interfaith engagement through the St Philips Centre and volunteering in hospital chaplaincy.

A House of Prayer

We are called to be a house of prayer and so we’re holding before God the question of how this might develop. As a starting point we’ve been building relationships with various networks of intercessors in Leicester, and beyond through the 24/7 Prayer movement. As 2020 begins, we are looking forward to providing a spiritual base for the two newly appointed Diocesan Pioneers who will be planting new intercultural worshipping communities in the city centre. We also hope to realise our plans to transform the basement of our building into a creative, underground prayer bunker, hosting young people, inspiring a rising generation to pray.

Rooted, Flourishing, Fruitful

‘If you want to understand spiritual growth, then plant something, nurture it and watch it grow.’ This was the advice of Fr Joseph, one of the monks at Mount St Bernard Abbey. In the spring, we will begin work on the Community Garden aiming to see the bare hard core of the old car park start to become a fertile place for new life and green things growing. We’re hoping that this practical work will mirror the cultivation of our inner space as we enter Lent and cultivate the practices of penitence: repentance, fasting and acts of justice.

Looking ahead

Applications for September 2020 are open. Please spread the word and share this news letter with your contacts who might be interested in what we’re up to.

We are exploring new partnerships within the Diocese and with other training institutions: the Institute for Children and Youth Ministry (ICYM) and St Mellitus East Midlands. New Novices may choose to integrate community life with a course of academic study and context based training. It’s an exciting development that aligns with our core vision to offer young adults the experience of living a Rule of Life in Community –growing to be rooted, flourishing and fruitful in Christ.

A Prayer for the New Year

Thank you for your prayer and support through the past year, we’re so grateful. We pray that with us you will enter 2020 with a sense of trust in God and anticipation for the adventure that lies ahead.

Every morning at the end of our Office, we say this prayer that we borrowed from the Iona Community. It confronts us daily with the challenge, not to settle down but to keep listening, keep responding, keep moving…It’s a good one to pray at New Year.


From where we are to where you need us,

Jesus, now lead on.

From the security of what we know

to the adventure of what you will reveal,

Jesus, now lead on.

To refashion the fabric of this world

until it resembles the shape of your kingdom

Jesus, now lead on.

Because good things have been prepared

for those who love God,

Jesus, now lead on.

Wild Goose Worship, Iona Community