After 25 years, Lambeth Palace bids fond farewell to Sisters
Monday 16th December 2013Archbishop Justin thanks the Anglican Sisters for their service at Lambeth Palace
Present and former staff joined a special Eucharist service at Lambeth Palace last week to celebrate 25 years of residence of nuns at the palace.
Guests were joined by some of the Sisters who have served, including the final one, Sister Catherine. Over the years the Sisters at Lambeth Palace have been drawn from the Anglican communities of the Order of the Holy Paraclete, the Community of the Holy Name, and the Sisters of the Love of God.
Also present were two members of the Chemin Neuf community who will be moving into Lambeth Palace next month to continue the religious life of prayer that supports the Archbishop's ministry.
In a homily, Archbishop Justin said there are 'so many myths' about living in religious communities. 'One is that it’s comfortable. The second is that it’s an escape. It’s anything but an escape; it’s the opposite of an escape.
'Anyone who thinks this is a nice quiet place to go where you’ll have a sort of regular pattern of worship and you can pray nicely... they’ve got to be kidding.'
He added: 'You’re living in community, you’re with people, praying together, you see very aspect; it’s not an escape. And all the spiritual trials and temptations that people face are concentrated in a community, and it’s really demanding.
'It’s also not safe. It’s incredibly risky, because of all the things we do, to say we’re going to rely entirely on God, and that the worth of our life is set not by our own standards but by God, is hugely risky...'
Archbishop Justin said the first emphasis in his own ministry is around the renewal of prayer and the religious life within the church. Where that happens, he said, it is an underlying sign of people 'taking risks' with the existence of God. 'Saying we’re going to throw ourselves into the void and see what happens, and see if God shows up.’