Each year, September-June, sixteen young adults from many different cultures and nations and Christian backgrounds and denominations commit to serving, studying and – most importantly – praying together in a shared life that will stretch, challenge and shape them for life.
The invitation isn’t unusual – Christ calls us all to take up our cross and follow him. For these young adults, aged 20-35, this is a daring experiment in following Christ – surrendering jobs, homes, autonomy and, in most cases, the familiarity of their own home culture and mother tongue for a year of Religious Community that draws on the ancient wisdom of St Benedict, St Ignatius, St Francis and others and grounds it in the needs and pace of 21st century, cosmopolitan London.
This residential community will eat, pray, study, serve and worship together under the Rule of Life – and live in shared accommodation. We have space for one married couple each year in the Residential community.
The daily schedule for the community varies from day to day throughout the week, incorporating service in the wider community, gardening and other in-house work, study time, and so on. Approximately one-third of the week is spent in lecture and study; one-third in personal and corporate prayer and worship; one-third in practical service assignments in central London. The entire Community, resident and non-resident, spends one evening a week and one Saturday a month together for teaching, worship and food. On Sundays everyone will be expected to participate in worship at a local church.
Most weeks during term time involve at least six hours of lectures from world-class lecturers and practitioners from all over the globe, covering Biblical studies, general theology, church history and ethics. All resident members take part in three intensive retreats and will spend time with other, more traditional Religious Communities or take part in a silent 30-day retreat based around the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, facilitated by the Community of Chemin Neuf.