Chemin Neuf com­mu­nity wel­comed at Lambeth

The Church of England - - NEWS - By Amaris Cole

MEM­BERS OF THE Chemin Neuf re­li­gious com­mu­nity were for­mally wel­comed to Lambeth Palace last week, de­spite be­ing aware their com­mis­sion is ‘rad­i­cal’ and a ‘risk’.

The four mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, who took up res­i­dence last month, were wel­comed with a Ser­vice of Thanks­giv­ing and Ded­i­ca­tion in the Palace Crypt last Thurs­day.

Con­sist­ing of a mar­ried Angli­can cou­ple, Ione and Alan Mor­ley-Fletcher, a Lutheran, Oliver Ma­tri, and a Ro­man Catholic, Sis­ter Ula Michlow­icz, the group will share in the daily round of prayer.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence be­fore the ser­vice, the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury said he wants to make Lambeth the ‘cen­tre of prayer, flow­ing from here and bub­bling up else­where’, in Eng­land’s Cathe­drals, Dio­ce­ses and the wider Com­mu­nion.

The Most Rev Justin Welby has com­mit­ted to three pri­or­ity ar­eas for his min­istry in the re­newal of prayer and re­li­gious life.

He said on Thurs­day: “There has never been a re­newal of the Church in Western Europe with­out a re­newal of prayer and the life of re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties. If we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer.

“I am deeply moved that in God’s grace Chemin Neuf agreed to this rad­i­cal and ex­cit­ing new step of com­ing to live as a com­mu­nity of prayer, hos­pi­tal­ity and learn­ing at Lambeth Palace.”

The Arch­bishop added: “We pray that this step of obe­di­ence will bear fruit among us, and for the church.”

His Chap­lain, the Rev Jo Wells, called it an ‘ex­cit­ing risk’ to cross bound­aries that some are afraid to cross.

She said: “Prayer is the back­bone of our life here at Lambeth Palace.”

“It is fan­tas­tic to have Chemin Neuf among us here,” the Chap­lain went on.

“They help us sus­tain the sense of wor­ship be­tween our bursts of prayer.”

A Chemin Neuf mem­ber, Alan Mor­ley-Fletcher, said: “What ex­cited me most about the prospect of com­ing to Lambeth Palace was the idea of be­ing able to be an ec­u­meni­cal wit­ness in an Angli­can cen­tre here in the mid­dle of Lon­don.”

All of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives noted the warm wel­come they re­ceived when they ar­rived at the Palace last month.

A dif­fer­ent Dio­cese is prayed for each day, along with the wider work of the Church of Eng­land and the Angli­can Com­mu­nion as a whole and the prayer re­quests that Lambeth Palace re­ceives daily.

The Arch­bishop also wants the rep­re­sen­ta­tives to go into the lo­cal com­mu­nity and make their pres­ence felt there.

He made his com­mit­ment to the group clear, hav­ing spent re­treats with them be­fore or­di­na­tion to both his posts of Bishop and Arch­bishop.

Welby stressed that he wants the Palace to not only be an of­fice, but also a cen­tre of prayer.

The Chemin Neuf, mean­ing ‘new way’, is a Catholic foun­da­tion with an ec­u­meni­cal vo­ca­tion, con­sist­ing of men and women, mar­ried and sin­gle, some with life­time vows and oth­ers a shorter term com­mit­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.