Monasticism – new or old?
We have been inspired by those who want to explore and express a deeper Christian faith in their ordinary lives. These have been inspirations from the past – mainly, but not exclusively, from the Celtic tradition and from the present many forms of new monasticism.
‘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 men and women banded together to do this’. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in a letter to his brother, 1935.
The Celtic monastic tradition draws us back to Columba, Aidan, Cuthbert, Hild, Chad – first bishop of Lichfield and Coventry and many others who brought a Christian light into a dark Britain. Their influence has been made available to us particularly via the Northumbrian Community. We follow a pattern of prayer based on this as we seek to deepen our Christian faith and explore a different way of living and relating to the world today.
To form a new kind of ‘monastery’ for families, with a rhythm of prayer, work, study and creativity, in a sustainable environment. Providing a place for quiet, prayer and retreat in Coventry.
Our Rule of Life: Be real – to God, to self, to others.
Core Activities: Prayer, Pilgrimage, Hospitality, Learning, Mission, Creativity, Care for the environment.
Involving couples, singles and families – we have a core group, with supporters around the region and beyond. We have been greatly influenced by the Northumbria Community and have links with their house in Leicestershire, St Josephs. We use the Northumbria Community Daily Offices and liturgies published in their Celtic Daily Prayer.
What we do:
We meet together to pray Coventry’s Litany of Reconciliation every Monday in the Cathedral at noon.
Pray Morning, Midday and Evening Offices separately or in small groups in our homes.
Meet as friends, share a meal, celebrate.
Pilgrimage down the River Sherbourne, (which starts in Corley Moor, runs right through the city centre, and on to its confluence with the Sowe at Baginton).
Have extended times of prayer at Coventry Prayer House.
Learn the practice of prayer together.
The possibilties are endless, the future could involve:
Living together as families, each in their own accommodation, but with communal areas for shared meals and social activities.
Operating as a Monastic House with a rhythm of prayer, work, study and creativity.
Prayer for Coventry and the nations – with a focus on Peace and Reconciliation. Pray the Daily Offices, Morning, Midday, Evening and Compline
Hospitality for pilgrims, day or longer term visitors or retreatants.
Educational activities based both on traditional monasticism and new monasticism (e.g. conferences, short courses).
Gardens and grounds – creating an organic kitchen garden, prayer or Quiet Garden, separate play area, and ideally having space for chickens, other livestock and horses.
Create a path along the river Sherbourne to enable pilgrimage and recreation.
Care for the environment (e.g. clearing the river, keeping footpaths clear, using sustainable resources and eco-friendly options, such as compost toilets).
Encourage the arts by providing space and resources for local artists, schools and colleges, holding Community Arts days, craft events and exhibitions.
Build links with the local community and engage in community-building projects.