“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, all people will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 21, 22.
Called to be in the city: So many images of Christian life often depcit country pastoral scenes, outside the city, ourside of urban life. Yet biblical trajectory of the city and urban life is from the great fallen city of Babylon to the redeemed city of the New Jerusalem. We are called to be the antithesis of so much city and urban living, often isolated individualism, where you are unknown and anonymous. We desire to be a community where you are truly known and truly know people.
Seeking to Reenchant the city: within our cities and urban life is a secular disenchantment with life, the material world if so often seen as simly something to be used. We desire to bring the material back to life, through the ritual in our liturgy, and using our bodies in prayer. At the heart of worship is mystery, reflected in our liturgy, our use of incense and icons, in our movement and our desire for the Society of the Holy Trinity to reflect in its archicture the beauty and majesty of God. For all of who we are and the whole of creation speaks of the glorius mystery of God. Beauty, mystery and enchantment are linked. Our Singing and the rhythm of the liturgical year all reflect this interplay. For “he who sings prays twice” said Augusine.
A unified & welcoming community: our city of London can be an inhospitable place, unwelcoming and excluding. We desire to be a place for all, where together we cocreate, cocurate a vision of the life of the Church which filters out into a vision of the life of humanity in the city. This will disrupt established norms and conventions as people encounter something of the fulness of Christ who is in all and draws all together. We do not find our unity in conformity, for to question, doubt and disagree are all signs of growing in maturity. We do not reconcile ourselves, we are reconciled in and through Christ.
A Learning Community that desires to be stretched: we seek to develop life and faith together, not to be left on ones own. Learning to communicate, our story, our song, our rhythm and those precious gifts of faith that have been passed on to us. “Bringing forth treasures old and treasures new” (Matthew 13). We desire to allow God to grow in us something strong and beautiful, an abundence, an enough, that we wish to share it. Our rhythm of life provides safety for us to do this. We desire to resist seeing learning as achievement, and strive to learn as a growing in wisdom and holiness.
Offering Food for the soul: We desire to offer worship that enables the whole person and whole community to encounter the riches of God, that deepens our relationships with God and one another. We desire that our worship allows space to feel and to think and makes explicit the interconnectedness of the rationale and the emotional. We recognise that the eucharist is the very heart of our worshipping life, where we encounter the grace and goodness of God. St Ignatius speaks of worship as a resting in the being of God.
Images of our charisms: the New Jerusalem, open doors, all welcome and invited, tree of life for healing, river of life offered to all, light of God illuminating all, a place to grow into all you are called to be. Icebergs: people in cities often like icebergs, most of them is hidden and obscured.