A New Monastic Community
Hope for the future
This vision for the future incorporates and develops all that we have begun and refines our priorities after evaluation of the first six months of the project. We are being approached by many agencies, groups, and individuals to be a key part of a COVID response and the dilemma has been around the question, ‘How we form community and combat isolation while at the same time being socially distanced?’. The New Normal for the coming year even with the prospect of a vaccine is very uncertain and we need a model that is resilient and holds people even in deepest lockdown.
Looking to a monastic model and drawing of spiritual practises of the past and present we feel that a of life which structures our days together; core members, volunteers and visitors alike, could give us the spiritual and mental stability that this time requires. It provides bookable slots and workable bubbles while giving the maximum opportunity for people to access the therapeutic benefits of work, prayer and hospitality. Inclusion in the life of the Project is completely open to all of any faith or none and all things are optional, but the core team will hold to the rhythm creating a calm and assured base to the endeavour rooted in prayer and the teachings of Jesus. From this we see the following activities growing with the support of paid staff committed to the rhythm.
1. Development of the Market to provide revenue and sustainability for the Project and along with this education for healthy and ethical food choices, growing, preserving, and creating delicious nutritious meals. Education and events to promote recycling and reduction in waste and environmental awareness through art projects such as felt making, wool crafts, fabric art and the decoration of the eco chapel with the school and local families.
2. Development of the spiritual life, groups and activities, individual support and events to promote mental health and wellbeing both in the community and in the wider Deanery. Knowing that we are part of a wider church that rely on both physically and spiritually and being called to offer all that we can.
3. The Development of the outside spaces to provide for socially distanced outside gatherings and education. We will be planting and growing and outside living willow ‘classroom’ space, levelling and tending a forum for outside performances and worship and creating an outside washing area for shared meals made on the open fire and to wash for the children visiting. We will be getting chickens for the families to look after and lambing, shearing and eventually producing our own mutton for sale in the shop. We will be planting a fruit cage and developing the herb garden and growing herbs for healing, dyeing and eating that we will demonstrate through our educational program.