2007 – 2011
Over the period 2007 – 2011 Community experienced many changes. Some of the changes were physical: serious flooding in 2007 saw a metre of water inundate all of Childswickham House, our gardens and land (in some places more!). The recovery took many months, and included the building of flood defences.
There were big changes in community itself: many core members left community during this time, including Roy and June Hendy, our founders, who retired to Cornwall.
In 2011 Fiona Hendy went to Tanzania to co-found “Karibu Nyumbani” (Welcome Home) Ministries, a project building homes for abandoned children and orphans. We are helping to support the work of the project, along with Agape Community (Tanzania) and many individual supporters.
By 2011 there had also been a gradual change in the structure of our community life: at one time all of us (families and single) had lived at Childswickham House, but by 2011 the majority of members of community lived in homes in Childswickham village, Evesham or Broadway. This had obviously affected our common life and prayer as a Community.
In 2011 we felt God was calling us to a year of discernment, to pray for guidance and a renewed understanding of how to live out our calling as a Community.
The year of discernment 2011-2012
Between April 2011 and April 2012 we all set aside time to pray about a number of areas, including our vision and calling, and its practical outworking for us today.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” Acts 2:42
Focussing on Acts 2:42, we asked ourselves how we can be faithful to “teaching,… fellowship, …the breaking of bread and to prayer” today, both personally and as a group.
Community felt God was speaking clearly about a number of issues, both spiritual and practical. New directions were agreed in three main areas: Community’s vision, committed membership of Community, and leadership of Community.
We also agreed and wrote down our new understanding of how community life should work in practice. This included a new leadership structure, and a changed understanding of several areas including committed membership, common life and shared prayer.
As well as praying as a group, the year was one of personal discernment, with each of us praying about our personal commitment to HOD’s vision; it was very important to discern this within the many callings on our lives as individuals and families. Our prayer was helped and informed by our chaplain Father Richard Jones OSB and many friends of community.
All of this was brought before God during our Commitment Day on Pentecost Sunday 2012.
A team of five now leads community, elected for a period of up to three years to oversee the work and ministry of the Community. The team is accountable to all members of Community, as well as the Community and Charity trustees. Currently its members are Andrea Makovska, Klara Smrcinova, Lynda Watson, Kevin Sumpter and John Trimming.
Practically speaking, we aim to have a coordinator of the group who will be a first point of contact for people from outside Community, a role that Lynda has taken on at the moment.
Please pray that we hear God as we all seek Him over coming months and years; and that we will always be faithful to his will for us, as part of Christ’s body on earth.