|Wellspring Community with Bishop Richard (r) and Fr Aidan (l)|
The promises - of stability in The Wellspring Community, fidelity to its way of life, and obedience to the call of Christ - were made during the Worth monastic community’s conventual Mass, with around 60 guests present. Joanna Gilbert, Lara Merk, Benjamin Gray, and Katherine Gray, the community’s ‘Core Members’, renewed promises of 3 years, while Jessica Smith and Francesca Carbone who are discerning full membership, made 2 year promises.
Wellspring is a new community, established initially 12 years ago in Brighton, having emerged out of an involvement with Worth Abbey and its (then) lay community. The community takes inspiration from the Benedictine tradition for living the Gospel in community receiving formation from Worth Abbey, and is dedicated to mission work in the local community and Diocese. Currently, it has 10 members in their 20s and 30s, most of whom are single discerning Christ’s call, but also including a family, Ben and Katy, who have two young children.
Fr Aidan - in place of Abbot Luke, who was away in Chile - spoke in his homily of the significance of the ‘yes’ made by Wellspring’s members, in light of Mary’s ‘yes’ to God’s plan at the Annunciation. The Solemnity of the Annunciation has been the date of making or renewing promises for Wellspring’s core members for the last 6 years, and forms an important part of their calling and spirituality. Mary’s radical consent to God’s plan of salvation forms the essential pattern of all Christian discipleship: “Let it be done unto me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). Wellspring seeks to support its members to grow in availability to God’s will, discovering their calling, and the freedom to respond wholeheartedly.
Based in Brighton, The Wellspring Community live within St Joseph’s parish near the heart of the city. They live a daily pattern of personal prayer and lectio divina, the Divine Office, common life, formation, and mission. From the ‘wellspring’ of a life rooted in Christ, they reach out in service in the local community, working especially with young people: offering a programme of faith formation for young adults and students (“Deep Waters”), as chaplains in Cardinal Newman Catholic School, running retreats for teenagers and young adults at Worth Abbey, supporting missionary outreach and social projects across East Brighton, and involved in wider Diocesan youth work such as Red Shirts and vocations work. The community offers young adults the opportunity to spend a year living in community, receiving formation in the Catholic faith and spiritual life, support to discern vocation, and many dynamic opportunities for mission.
For more information about Wellspring, visit www.wellspringbrighton.org.uk or find them on facebook.