Community of St Aldhelm
Who are we?
We are a community of people who are seeking to follow God more closely by keeping a Rule of Life based around a rhythm of Daily Prayer. We try to be intentional about setting time aside for spiritual reflection, together and separately. We are exploring together what it means to live more fully as a community even though we aren’t living together in a community house. We keep in touch through email and phone and meet together when we can.
The Community was established in 2016. There are around 18 of us at the moment. For the most part, we are members of Malmesbury Abbey, but we have one or two members from further afield. We welcome anyone who would find this a helpful approach to strengthening their Christian discipleship, or would like to explore their spirituality in company with others and be supported in a rhythm of Daily Prayer.
What is the CoStA Rule of Life?
Our Rule of Life is broadly based on the Benedictine Rule – Malmesbury Abbey was originally a Benedictine foundation – but reinterpreted for people in an ordinary English parish church setting who are not living a monastic life. The Rule is tailored to each individual and is intended to be a support to discipleship and not a burden. Members typically commit to the Community a year at a time. In normal years, we have a re-dedication service in May, on or near St Aldhelm’s Feast Day, when we recognise new members, and existing members who want to continue with us renew their commitment.
How can I join?
If you are interested in becoming a member of CoStA, please contact our Lay Prior, Catherine Price on firstname.lastname@example.org We would be particularly pleased to hear from anyone living within the North Wilts Mission Area and Deanery who would like to join in this adventure in discipleship.
Community Post – 25 March 2020
As we are currently unable to meet, I have prepared a couple of resources that you might like to try.
Across the North Wilts Mission Area, we committed ourselves collectively to a course of study and action on the theme of Caring for God’s Creation, based around a series of studies in Genesis 1. The theme for last Sunday 22 March was “Let there be lights in the Sky”.
Read Genesis 1:14-19
We live by a natural rhythm of night and day which is encoded into our DNA. The fourth day in Genesis 1 sets out a daily cycle of waking and resting. Taking time on waking to dedicate our day to God, and to review the day in thanksgiving and prayer before sleep is an ancient Christian tradition.
What daily rhythms of prayer do you find helpful? Are there things that others are doing that you would find helpful?
As well as daily rhythms, God ordains seasons of the year. The church’s year reflects the passage of the seasons. Find out more online about festivals like Rogationtide and Lammas Day. How might re-claiming these traditions, or giving them greater prominence, help today’s churches and communities?
Examen for Life during COVID-19
Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic is uppermost in many of our minds at present. In response, Susan Haarman has produced this examen. Susan writes:
“The Examen is a traditional method of prayerful awareness… It’s a short, easy way to reflect on your day and become more mindful about where you are experiencing grace or goodness and where there is room in your actions and life for growth. Especially in times of uncertainty and rapid change, taking time to reflect becomes essential.“
We have used the Examen before at different seasons in CoStA and found it helpful. If you would like to use this Examen follow the link here:
I offer two prayers that were inspired by the Psalms at Morning Prayer today, the Feast of the Annunciation. They both come from Common Worship:
Gracious God, you are full of compassion;
may we who long for your kingdom to come
rejoice to do your will
and acknowledge your power alone to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(inspired by Psalm 111)
From the rising of the sun to its setting
we praise your name, O Lord;
may your promise to raise the poor from the dust
and turn the fortunes of the needy upside down
be fulfilled in our time also,
as it was in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (inspired by Psalm 113)
The first piece of music was inspired by the Feast of the Annunciation, which is today, 25 March. It is a traditional Basque carol that we normally sing at Christmas, but it seems appropriate today as well. Here it is sung by the choir of King’s College Cambridge:
The second piece is a modern worship song called Oceans. It is a song about trusting God even when it feels as if our “feet may fail”. It has been in my mind a lot over the last few weeks and so I share it here:
I hope that you will find these resources helpful. Please share your experiences with me and I will try to reflect them in the next Community post.