We’re aiming to establish a Christian community somewhere in the south/west of England. At this stage we are seeking others to share this vision, whether families, couples or individuals.
Our plan is for the group to jointly buy a suitable property, which would comprise, or could be converted into, individual homes, communal areas and some land to cultivate and grow food.
We’re aiming for sustainability and outreach, promoting a simple and Christ-centred way of life, caring for His creation and for one another, and working together with local churches and the wider community.
We have become increasingly concerned about issues concerning the environment, poverty, sustainability of resources, trade justice, local economies, animal welfare, etc., and how God wants us to respond to these things, particularly in light of Jesus' teaching about the greatest commandments, loving God (and therefore caring for what He loves), and loving our neighbours (not taking more than our share of the World's resources while others go hungry, not supporting unfair trade etc.).
The community idea has evolved through this, and we believe that the Lord is showing us a way to a better way of living, which can be workable for everyone - Christian communities fully integrated and reaching out to the wider community, not something which is exclusive and insular.
We think that the idea of living in self-contained homes, with some communal areas and communal land, would be the option most people would feel comfortable with. Having one's own space is important, but regular shared meals, working, praying and meeting together would help to strengthen and grow the community. We are not planning on a specifically Meditative community, but we do intend to run one on Christian principles, which will enable members and ultimately, visitors, to participate in regular worship. We were thinking of flats in a large house, perhaps. Of course the size would depend on the number of people. Perhaps a former school or hotel building would be a possibility, so long as it had sufficient land.
We are at present living in Derbyshire, and we do have a property to sell, which we hope would enable us to clear enough (subject to us finding a buyer!) to put towards the project.
Christian Ecology Link have suggested that such a community could become a 'nucleus' point whereby members may visit, and participate in activities there for education and sharing of ideas, and possible outreach with the local church(es). Because of the visitors and outreach, and also because at least some of the members would need to travel to work, it would need to be somewhere reasonably accessible - preferably with good public transport links.
Anyway, this is sort of where we are up to in our thinking. We are by no means experts on sustainable and community living! We are learning as we go along, and will continue to do so. There are so many aspects to consider. We would very much welcome your ideas and input, and of course your feelings about whether this sort of community is what you are looking for.
If you are interested please contact Richard and Nicky firstname.lastname@example.org- we would love to hear from you."