More than five weeks ago, the Community of the Tree of Life got a new resident. My name is Clara and I am from Germany. I have studied Theology and before I become a pastor in my country I thought it would be a good idea to get experience of a flourishing church. So I came to Leicester not sure what to expect but hoping to learn a lot for my own work. Of course one of the questions I had from a lot from family and friends was: where are you going to live? At first I was not sure myself, I just hoped that somehow it will be sorted out. And it was! Elaine, the vicar of Holy Trinity Leicester, told me about the Community of the Tree of Life.
When I first heard of it I was reminded of all the christian student housing I lived in over the years and my anticipation grew. I checked out the Community’s website and told everyone around me how happy I was that God provided me with shelter for my internship. But honestly, at that point I did not yet know how lucky I actually was. I thought I was coming to the UK to learn from a church when actually I not only got an insight into the workings of Holy Trinity Leicester but also learned from the wonderful people that I shared a house with. Everyone who is living at the Community made me felt so welcomed and at home. I am so grateful for all the things I have experienced with them: a wonderful trip to the beaches of Cornwall, so many tasty dinners in the evening, a trip to Bradford Park for a quiet day — just to name a few of them.
I learned just as many things from the people at the house as from the people in the church. I did not think that I could miss someone I only knew for seven weeks, but I am sure that when I go back to Germany I will miss the Community and everyone who is part of it. At St Martins, Leicester you can truly experience how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity (Psalm 133,1): a unity that still stands even when some of the brothers and sisters sometimes forget to wash their dishes.