At the end of August Adrian and Michael moved into the community house and they have written some reflective words on how the first few weeks have gone.
This experience started, very much, as an opportunity for me to explore and test my vocation both in terms of the religious life and ordained ministry. I have for many years been exploring vocation in the broader sense but felt the need to begin testing some more specific aspects and felt that the Holywell Community would enable me as well as others around me to do that.
My first month here has not disappointed me in that respect, it started with a wonderful retreat to Buckfast where the words of guidance from Father Tom OSB spoke volumes to me in terms of living as community, the role of the rule of St Benedict as a framework, the central importance of love of those around you and the growing respect you gain for each other through living in a community and the search for God and a willingness to be open to change. It was even during those couple of days that the religious life began to be a greater focus than previously for me. There have been many other experiences I’ve had in these first four weeks that have offered opportunity for growth and change. I’ve been involved a fair bit with both little footprints and 7 corners and so am gaining experience working with an age group I haven’t had as much experience in. This, although initially daunting, is immensely enjoyable and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead with God Squad, All Age Worship and leading School Assemblies. I am preaching for the first time on Sunday, which is daunting but will be another opportunity to test my ability to teach and communicate the gospel which I’m excited about. I also attended a great course on how to communicate biblical messages to children and had the opportunity in this to play with puppets, we hope to introduce some of the concepts into All Age Worship in October.
With all this great experience and also the development of prayer stations for the food fest it has been a hectic but thoroughly enjoyable time and is currently the perfect opportunity for developing skills and testing a broad range of vocations. The bit I enjoy most of all though is the quiet observing of the offices during the day and also supporting serving in services.
I have had a wonderfully warm welcome by everybody and look forward to further opportunities to change as the months progress.