Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fresh Expressions at Lambeth Palace: putting your dwellings where your doctrine is

Justin Welby is setting up a new monastic community at Lambeth Palace, to spend 'A year in God's time'. Great idea, you have to be aged 20-35 to be part of The Community of St Anselm, and it's part of the Archbishops ongoing vision to put prayer at the heart of the renewal of the CofE.

The community is 'an experiment' - the role of prior is a fixed term 3 year contract - and the aim is to draw in 16 full time and 40 associate members for prayer, study and service.

Welby not only believes that the renewal of the CofE begins with prayer, but is prepared to put his dwellings where his doctrine is. I wonder if any other bishops palaces will follow suit?

I think this probably also makes him the first bishop in the CofE to set up a Fresh Expression of church, though I'll happily be corrected on that one. If you're going to encourage other people to do things, the best way is to lead by example. Bishops should be church planting, if they're going to lead the rest of the church in doing it.


  1. Interesting idea, given that Bishops have historically had a tension over authority with monastic communities. So give it a go Justin and let's see where the Spirit leads.

  2. Here in Wellington, NZ, we've done it the other way round - and 2 years ago elected as our bishop another Justin who more than 15 years ago, founded Urban Vision, an Anglican new monastic community. UV and its communities are both a blessing and challenge us greatly in our diocese, not least through their charism of daily prayer and commitment to give their best for the least in their neighbourhoods. You can read part of their story in this book: