On Sunday 18 March 2018 47 people made their promises and were blessed by the vicar, Revd Dr Sam Wells, as a new community was formed at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
The Nazareth Community is an experiment in being with God, with one’s neighbour and with oneself in the centre of London. The community offers a structure and a framework to grow in prayer and compassionate discipleship. It is a dispersed community that joins together in five shared disciplines: silence, sacrament, service, sacred study and sharing.
The 47 who made their promises come from many different walks of life, including those who have known homelessness and those who are refugees. Each new member of the community received a small Lampedusa Cross. Each cross was made on the island of Lampedusa from the wreckage of migrant boats washed ashore and is a sign of resurrection born in the pain and the hope of the cross.
The Nazareth Community is rooted in, but not exclusive to, the congregation of St Martin’s.
Commenting on this exciting development, Revd Richard Carter, leader of the community, said: “The Nazareth Community is about learning to listen again, as St Benedict said, with the ear of the heart. We sense the need in this city for sacred space for people to come and replenish tired, stressful or simply busy lives. At the heart of our community we want an oasis of the Spirit – the Spirit that leads to compassionate reciprocity, service, healing and joy. We are not simply managers organising resources and events but those who seek God: women and men of prayer, who know our utter dependence on God’s grace and know this city’s need of God’s forgiveness and love.”
Revd Dr Sam Wells added: “Being with God and one another and ourselves is how we shall spend eternity. The Nazareth Community is a group of people who are saying, ‘Why not start eternity now? Why wait?’ In their living eternal life now we see hope and inspiration for ourselves, our church, our community and our city.”
For more information email Richard.Carter@smitf.org