The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited more young Christians to join the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace.
Applications open today for the second year of the programme, which offers people aged 20-35 the opportunity to spend ‘a year in God’s time’ as they live together as a community inspired by the monastic traditions.
The participants commit to a year of prayer, studying theology and ethics, and serving the poorest in local communities, adopting a pattern of life devoted to Jesus Christ that monastics down the centuries would recognise.
The first year of the programme has seen 36 young men and women forming a community based at Lambeth Palace. Sixteen residential members from around the world – including the USA, Kenya and Australia – have been joined by 20 non-residential members who live and work in London.
Archbishop Justin Welby has made the renewal of prayer and Religious life a priority for his ministry.
The Prior of St Anselm, Anders Litzell said: “I’m looking for people who above everything else want to follow Jesus, grow in likeness of Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God the Father. It is as simple as that. You can come from any Christian denomination and any part of the world.
“Our first intake have been here for three and a half months and it’s been an extraordinary journey. It’s been beautiful, it’s been challenging, it has been of God and I am deeply humbled, very excited for what the rest of this year will hold for the current members.”
Shannon Preston, a residential member from Minnesota, USA, said: “Having two hours a day to pray is unreal and I’m not sure where I would get that outside of this year. I show up and trust that God is there as well. It’s such a gift.”