The three charisms of the community are prayer & devotion, learning & reconciliation and hospitality and service. Together they help orientate all we hope to do, enabling us to deepen our knowledge and experience of God, and enliven our understanding of what God is calling us to do in His service and for His glory.
prayer & devotion
The very heart of the community, which gives life, direction and energy to all else. Initially this will begin quite simply, by praying the offices of Morning and Evening prayer, as well as celebrating Holy Communion/the Eucharist once a week, and having some initial gathering of all those interested in early 2015 to prayer, eat and discern together the next steps forward. We hope that over the next 12-18 months that those interested in being part of this new community would begin to imagine what our collective rhythm/rule of life and prayer might be. We would draw on the existing religious traditions in the Anglican church (and beyond), but also seek to hear what the Holy Spirit might be saying to us today in our time.
Alongside this would be the potential long-term development of the land next to St Margaret the Queen as a site for a new monastic community house. Where members of the community could live and pray together, potentially taking temporary vows for a year or two. It is our prayer that this community would be a place where people can discover the depths of Gods love for them, understand more deeply His call on their life, and experience the joy of service in Christ's Kingdom.
learning & reconciliation
We hope that St Margaret the Queen would become a place of learning for the deanery. Over the next year we hope, through meeting with deanery leaders (both lay and ordained) to discern what the needs of the deanery are and out of those conversations think about how this place might serve the needs of the deanery. Any courses or training would seek to enliven people’s understanding of their faith (whether participants be lay, ordained, young in their faith or mature) by drawing on a wide range of Christian traditions, seeking to reconcile that which – at the moment – can often be divisive, or seen as opposite. It is hoped that such learning would equip people to proclaim and embody their faith in a more meaningful way.
Members of the community at St Margaret the Queen would also devote time to study. It is hoped that a library will be developed at St MtQ in order to deeper the faith of the community and also to deepen our understanding of the riches of the Christian Tradition (in the widest sense of the word), recognising that the ‘effectiveness’ of our mission and the depths of our holiness is closely tied to the depth of our devotion, which includes the cultivation of the intellectual life. In such learning we hope that where we, and the church, are presently divided we might, through the work of the Holy Spirit, be given a renewed understanding of our brothers and sisters in Christ who come from different traditions, seeing Christ at work in them, and recognising their devotion to His service.
hospitality & service
Over the course of 2014 and also 2015 we hope to develop relationships with local community projects and charities in order to ascertain how we might transform the space in St MtQ to be hospitable to their needs and the needs of the wider local community. Potentially this could mean working with recently released prisoners; young people; the unemployed; single parent families; those who primary language is not English; or even creating an entrepreneurial space for young business start-ups. This echoes the founding of the guilds within the monastic communities in the medieval period, and we, like they, would seek to enable human flourishing in its broadest sense, recognising that.
It is hoped that as the community house is built that its members might also offer service in these various projects and charities.