New residents arrive at our Community of the Tree of Life

Ten new residents have arrived to start their year at our new monastic community, The Community of the Tree of Life, at Cathedral Gardens, Leicester.

The Community is a House of Prayer, a prayer resource for the Diocese of Leicester, and a residential Christian Community called to live a life that is ‘rooted, flourishing and fruitful’.

This year, the residential new monastic community has ten young adults starting a year of formation and mission with three elements:

  • A missional placement with a specific focus of everyday service to the community
  • A programme of academic study or vocational training
  • Being part of an intentional Christian community with an introduction to a Rule of Life

Some of the residents are taking part in the New Wine Discipleship Year with our Resourcing Churches under the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme (MES), some are studying with the Institute for Children, Youth and Mission (CYM), and some are exploring a new monastic curriculum delivered by members of the Tree of Life team.

The three elements of the residents year are unpacked further here and the ‘week in the life’ page of the Community’s website explores what a ‘normal’ week looks like in more detail by clicking here.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the Community livestreamed daily online ‘micro-offices’ of prayer three times every weekday to help people unable to worship and pray in their usual churches.

The residents were welcomed at an online service, led by Bishop Martyn, the Abbot of the Community. As Abbot, he invited each resident to explore the Community’s Rule and their shared way of life in the year ahead.    

Bishop Martyn said:

"This is a wonderful realisation of the dream to have a vibrant, diverse community of young adults helping to renew the prayer life of the diocese. Praying with them and for them at the Welcome Service was an immense joy for me and I look forward to seeing how this intercultural community will resource churches across the diocese." 

These young adults continue the long-standing tradition of a life of prayer and service to the community established by the GreyFriars monks centuries ago on the site which is adjacent to the location of their Friary Church, which originally housed Richard III’s tomb. His body was discovered in the ruins of the church under a council car park in 2012 and is now reinterred in the nearby Leicester Cathedral.

Prior of the Community of the Tree of Life, Revd Rachel Bennetts, said:

“We are so excited to have so many young adults join the community this year, to explore what it looks like to live a life that is rooted in Christ. Our prayer is that these young adults will flourish as they discover Christ in themselves and in the world around them, and we hope and pray, that they may be fruitful as they serve the churches of this diocese.”





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