Bishop Alan has just been on retreat and has some excellent reflections on worship, which are a bit of a breath of fresh air. Great pictures too. He's been reflecting on the Rule of Benedict, a framework for community Christian life which has sustained monastic life for centuries.
Interestingly, as we think about how to form missionary Christian communities in new housing estates in this area, the idea of a common rule of life for community members is increasingly popping it's head up. Church membership tends to be defined by attendance at certain public events (e.g. if you're Anglican), or being on a membership roll, in other traditions. The early church had certain core activities - meeting, eating, learning from the apostles, praying, sharing property - which read more like a monastic 'rule of life' than the things we normally use to define who is part of the church and who isn't. It's an issue I want to explore - how to have a local 'church' which is bound together not by common attendance at certain meetings, but by commitment to a particular rule of life which sustains their presence as neighbourhood disciples and missionaries.