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Young people invited to spend “a year in God’s time” at Lambeth Palace

Posted on: December 14, 2015 4:10 PM

[ACNS] Young Christians from around the world are being invited to spend ‘a year in God’s time’ at Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as applications open for the second year of the Community of St Anselm.

The Community is an international ecumenical grouping of residential and non-residential young Christians aged between 20 and 35 who commit to spend their time in prayer, theological reflection and service in local communities while living together “as a community inspired by the monastic traditions,” Lambeth Palace said.

“The participants commit to a year of prayer, studying theology and ethics, and serving the poorest in local communities, adopting a pattern of life devoted to Jesus Christ that monastics down the centuries would recognise.”

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The first group of 36 young men and women to join the Community of St Anselm are just over three months into their year. Sixteen of them are residential members from countries including the UK, USA, Kenya and Australia. They are accompanied by 20 non-residential members who live and work in London.

Applications have opened today from young people who are interested in joining the second intake, which will begin in September 2016.

“I’m looking for people who above everything else want to follow Jesus, grow in likeness of Jesus by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God the Father. It is as simple as that,” the Prior of St Anselm, Anders Litzell, said. “You can come from any Christian denomination and any part of the world.

“Our first intake have been here for three and a half months and it’s been an extraordinary journey. It’s been beautiful, it’s been challenging, it has been of God and I am deeply humbled, very excited for what the rest of this year will hold for the current members.”

Archbishop Justin Welby has made the renewal of prayer and religious life a priority for his ministry and the Community of St Anselm is just one example of the outworking of this. Another is the Archbishop’s invitation to members of the Chemin Neuf Community – a Catholic foundation with an ecumenical vocation – to live and pray at Lambeth Palace.

By restricting membership of the Community of St Anselm to those aged 20 to 35 – adults at the beginning in their careers or ministries – Archbishop Justin hopes the Community will help to “reintroduce a lifestyle of prayer and spiritual formation to a generation which, by and large, has never experienced it,” the Community says on its website. “By gathering young adults from around the world, the Community will be bringing together people who may have very little common ground other than their love for Jesus. Being in a roughly similar stage of life will help people relate to one another as brothers and sisters.”