Community Groups are an important aspect of the Community’s life. With the steady numerical and geographical growth of the Community across the world, Community Groups provide Companions and Friends to meet and share with one another on a regular basis.
The purpose of the Community Groups is to encourage and resource people in exploring our Rule, A way for living with a focus on spiritual formation, and Companionship (the together bit of the alone and together in Community).
The groups are good contexts in which stories and information, concerns and responsibilities are shared about the wider Community.
Groups are places where hospitality is expressed and endeavour to be welcoming and open to people from any background.
In various parts of the Britain, elsewhere in Europe, Canada, USA and Australia groups meet together, often once a month, as local expressions of the Community. Most groups meet in someone’s house and more often than not the Community, whenever it gathers, is found eating and drinking! Groups are diverse in their make up and activities, affording space and freedom for both spontaneity and creativity but permeated by the Community’s ethos and core values of Availability and Vulnerability. Sometimes groups will be involved in an aspect of Community’s life and work in their area. Some groups have members with long established connections to the Community. Others have formed almost spontaneously through a few people meeting initially to say Office and share something of their own stories.
For further details of existing and emerging groups please contact the Community Office at Nether Springs.
Community Gatherings are opportunities for Companions, Friends, and anybody who’s interested, to meet together, share the rhythm of the day and a meal together, and catch up on, or learn about, Community happenings, teaching and developments. Their primary purpose is in providing the opportunity for people to be together. So, if you’d like to know what the Community’s about, who we are, explore or make a connection, this is a good way to do that. Gatherings are usually put together by local Community Groups or Companions and tend to be ad-hoc rather than regular events.
Keep an eye on the website for news of Gatherings in your area.
The phrase “monastery on the road” could well characterise the nature of Community Teams. Seeking to be responsive to the initiatives of the Holy Spirit, as our Community’s Rule states, we make ourselves available to God in mission, carrying a preparedness to “wander for the love of Christ wherever the Father leads”.
Teams are made up of Companions, Friends and others; sometimes people connected with us and sometimes those for whom it is their first experience of Community. Teams would more often than not accompany those who have an apostolic heart and calling to serve the renewal of the church and the serving the kingdom of God in the world. The teams go out on behalf of and in the name of the Community journeying and encouraging people to seek God and to live generously.
They seek to follow the example of Aidan, who journeyed for the love of God, carrying the torch of the gospel, seeking to be open to the Spirit’s leading as to where he went and to whom he shared with. In the words of a dance, One Word, One Light, One Life, that Andy Raine wrote and choreographed in the early days of Community:
One word, One light, One person, One life He loved enough for him to die. And the love that died, His love that burns inside me, impels me on the road to seek for Christ in the stranger’s face, or feel the absence of His touch. Do you love Christ? King Jesus, is He yours? Then love God more and burn with your love. Hold fast the light he gives live for Him. Believer, hold Him high, that all may see the Light of Jesus, in a son of man.
One word, One light, One person, One life he loved enough for Him to die. And the love that burns inside me, impels me on the road. To seek for Christ in the stranger’s face, or feel the absence of His touch. Do you love Christ? King Jesus, is He yours? God knows the emptiness. Deep cries to deep, receive the life He gives, live now for Him, believe and be baptised, then all will see, the Life of Jesus, in a son of man.
One word, One light, One person on the way!
We take out ‘on the road’ together, the fruit of our seeking God alone. Teams go to churches, other communities, partners, charities, festivals, conferences, workplaces, schools, workshops, hospitals, etc, both in church and secular contexts. The teams in serving and expressing the Community’s way for living, will often use music, storytelling, worship, dance, drama and art as creativity reflects both the nature of God and characterises the Community’s life and work. People undergoing the novitiate process are encouraged to be part of Community Teams in exploring their relationship with us. Teams can also be deployed to come alongside initiatives and ministries that other Companions and Friends are involved in. They are formed and organised either by people taking personal initiative or in response to the many invitations and opportunities that come to the Community through our Office.
Teams have travelled extensively throughout Europe and North America and throughout most areas of Britain.