Peacechurch, Coventry

Jo Rathbone writes:

We are a very small group who meet regularly on Mondays at 6pm or thereabouts. Twice a month (first and third Mondays) we spend the time chopping veg and cooking up a veggie dish for our local night shelter for destitute asylum seekers. This is because when we first mooted an Anabaptist inspired gathering, we wanted the focus to be practical and peace and justice focussed, and this seemed do-able on a regular basis. Initially we only met twice a month, and we cooked. Subsequently, we decided that we wanted to do some praying and looking at the Bible, and discussing together. We now meet every Monday, and we share a meal together every time we meet, and still cook twice per month.

For some time we used the Take our Moments and Our Days liturgies, but some found them too wordy. So now we use a shorter liturgy which I put together from various sources, and ring the changes every so often. We tend to sing a lot, as one of our number has a love of Taize chants, and, amazingly, we can manage four parts between us! It is the only small group that I’ve been part of where singing works! We are very flexible, and as we are all struggling with different issues, we try to be gentle with each other.

Our conversations are stimulated usually by the Taize ‘verses for the day’, and we reflect on these. Having said that, sometimes we don’t actually get around to doing this, and the conversation goes off on some other tack. A frequent topic of conversation is how to live the gospel in times of environmental crisis: I’m involved in running a community farm six miles away, and for some years another member tried to get a community food project going in another area in Coventry. Most of us are very concerned about the lack of attention given to the future, and the failure of our current systems to take any account of the problems of climate change and peak oil, so we struggle to try and work out our Christian response to this.

So, although we are small, we see the group as a source of inspiration to keep going in our discipleship.

Contact: Jo Rathbone: jorathbone@phonecoop.coop