Introducing the Community

‘Covenanted together within the love of Christ we share a common vision to see the Kingdom of God extended in Northumbria and to carry the torch of the gospel wherever the Father leads us.’

‘Dynamic and erratic, spontaneous and radical, audacious and immature, committed if not altogether coherent. Ecumenically open and often experimental; visible here and there, now and then but unsettled institutionally. Almost monastic in nature, but most of all enacting a fearful hope for society.’   William Stringfellow

 ‘The renewal of the Church will come from a new type of Monasticism, which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time people banded together to do this.’  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Northumbria Community is a dispersed network of people from different backgrounds, streams and edges of the Christian faith. As Companions in Community, we are united in our desire to embrace and IMG_4223express an ongoing exploration into a new way for living, through a new monasticism, as Christians that offers hope in our changed and changing culture. We are A Way to express The Way and acknowledge there are many other valid expressions of the desire to follow Jesus Christ in today’s world.

We are united by a Rule of Life, which we call our Way for Living and which can be summed up in two words: Availability and Vulnerability. Each of us has to learn how to live out this Availability and Vulnerability, to God and to others, within our own unique combination of circumstances, roles, responsibilities and relationships. Since these are constantly shifting, so application of our Way for Living can never be fixed or finalised. We find ourselves living with questions rather than answers. This is why Northumbria Community is always in draft form and never a finished product. It remains a dynamic, ongoing work in progress, aware that ‘constant change is here to stay’.

Whilst the detail will vary from Companion to Companion and from one day to another, the important questions for us remain:

Who is it that you seek?

How then shall we live?

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

Northumbria Community is the gift of God to those whose hearts are set on this pilgrimage and whose lives are constantly being redefined and redirected by the living out of these three questions. As Companions we are able to help each other keep these questions alive.

Our Rule and our rhythm of Daily Prayer (Celtic Daily Prayer) reflect the influence of the monastic tradition in the development of our Community ethos. Seeking God as the one thing necessary, in our continuing quest for a new type of monasticism, is at the heart of our life, whether alone or together. Our identity is rooted in the history and spiritual heritage of Celtic Northumbria. From this source of inspiration, our Community has learnt to live the ebb and flow of contemplation and action, monastery and mission, solitude and community. It is this blending of ‘a prayer that is quiet and contemplative with a faith that is active and contagious’, lived out in our ordinary everyday experience, which has been our foundation as we have grown and developed. We seek God on the inner journey in order to learn how we can better live with others and serve the world of our influence whether it be great or small, wherever the Father leads.

There are a number of books and CDs which inform and inspire the vision and vocation of the Northumbria Community.