St Columba brought Christianity to the island of Iona from Ireland and then St Aidan brought it from Iona to England via the island of Lindisfarne. Both these great saints were successful in spreading the faith because of the attractive & dynamic Celtic communities that they established, communities based on three key characteristics:
1. A Way of Life
(then called “a Rule”)
2. A Simple Rhythm of Prayer
3. A “Soul Friend” for everyone in community. (The practice of Anamchara)
These three practices provide an ancient Celtic pathway & are once again blessed with the anointing God poured out on those who journeyed on them in the First millennium.
As The Source Community we believe that God has called us to adapt and adopt them for our own time, a time that has many similarities to the pagan world these great Celtic saints of our isles lived in.
The Celtic Monastic Communities “Way of Life”, their Rule, was founded on three Principles or virtues (then expressed as vows they made to God and to the community of):
Poverty, Chastity & Obedience
We have adapted & adopted these in our day as three values we choose to commit to, values of:
Simplicity, Purity & Obedience
Simplicity of lifestyle
Purity of heart
Obedience to God
To help us live out these values we have borrowed a “Way of Life” that in our times
the Community of Aidan and Hilda have used, which has ten core elements:
A Way of Life
1. Lifelong Learning
2. Journeying with God
3. A Rhythm of Prayer, Work & Recreation
4. Simple Lifestyle
5. Celebration of & Care for Creation
6. Healing of People, Places, Relationships & Communities
7. Openness to God’s Spirit
8. Overcoming evil through Intercessory Prayer
9. Cultivating Unity
10.Sharing Jesus & Justice
Saint Brigit said “a man without a soul friend is like a man without a head!” One job of this soul-friend - (the Anamchara) is to help us each work out, (slowly and gently over an extended period of time), how we can live out our Way of Life in a manner that suits who God has made us to be and the individual circumstances of our life.
The second element of the three key characteristics of this ancient Celtic pathway is the- Simple Rhythm of Prayer. For this we use the Northumbria Community’s Book “Celtic Daily Prayer”. This beautiful but simple resource lays out three sets of daily prayers, for:
Morning, Midday and Evening The Midday prayer is very short (as we are usually most busy at this time) with slightly more extended times for Morning & Evening Prayer.
Each day it provides:
- A short meditation for the day of the month
- Some verses of scripture
(one or two verses from each of the: Psalms, Old & New Testaments)
- A daily reading for the date
These readings can be incorporated into either the Morning or the Evening set Prayers as best suits our schedule and desire.
As the Source Community we began this commitment on
All Saints Day (1st November) 2015