Introduction to the community
The period 2017/18 marked the culmination of many years of wondering and reflecting on the future pattern of CAH as we pondered how we were meant to embrace the Augustinian charism which had been part of our being, along with that of many similar communities. It was in 2017 that we came to the conclusion that this life and being was henceforward to lie in the “Dispersed” mode of living and working; the scattering of seed rather than the planting of a bulb. Two years later, God is still central to our Community life as he is to the life of all his saints. We are united in his service through the Eucharist, the praying of the Office and our commitment to corporate and private prayer, meditation on Scripture and other spiritual input. This basic work still draws us to serve Christ with the same love as he has for us, in a wide range of “presence” to our local communities and in sharing our space with others. This can include anything from local voluntary activity to leading a quiet day, and still includes listening and spiritual accompaniment. In all this we have found that, despite being “scattered”, it is possible to stay together in the deepest sense and to retain our charism in a way that still appeals to those we meet today. The close proximity of our sisters in residential care in Bungay makes it very easy to include them in all this.
Over the last decade or so, much of the Community’s land and buildings have been leased to other organisations who have done much to continue the kinds of work we were doing, and more so. Now the Christian Conference Trust, Emmaus Norwich and Waveney and the Benjamin Foundation are being joined by a new group – the “With” Community who have identified the tremendous need for the young of today of space to slow down and to re-connect with God and his Creation, and who seek to address this by providing space, input, support and a chance to grow into the fullness of life in Christ in the beauty of the site. Meanwhile, there is hope that the house next to St Julian’s in Norwich, and indeed the Julian Centre, will be enabled to access a new life and way of being, built on what has gone before and developing new life and ministry from that. This has all called for a level of expertise and experience possessed by none of us in Community; recognising this, a board of trustees was established as CAH Trustees Ltd., to take on the overall management of land, property and finance and the myriad legalities which have to be factored in to such management. Sisters are still part of this trustee group in order to help represent the interests and charism of CAH itself.
What of the future? We continue to welcome bona fide enquiries from those wishing to explore with us some facet of our calling for themselves. This includes two who have known us in our previous existence, who are coming through this time of change with us and who are serious about testing their sense of vocation to the “core” CAH. It may be that there are others, too, who would like to go further into the life without necessarily committing themselves as permanent members; we stand ready to be here for them as well. Meanwhile, the dedication to All Hallows encourages them and us to keep our minds, hearts and spirits open to all God shows us of himself and our life lived for him in Christ Jesus.
All Hallows, 23 Trinity Street, BUNGAY, Suffolk NR35 2DT
Roan Cottage, Bunessan, Isle of Mull, PA67 6DU
Tel: 01681 700535
Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich
Sister Violet CAH, All Hallows, Ditchingham, Becket Publications, Oxford, 1983
Mother Mary CAH, Memories, privately published 1998
(A collection of memories and reflections primarily intended for friends and associates but available to all.)
Sister Winifred Mary CAH, The Men in my Life, (reminiscences of prison chaplaincy), privately published 2009
Sister Violet CAH, A book of poems, privately published 2011
Sister Pamela CAH, “Where am I going?”: a book exploring the labyrinth and its spirituality, privately published, 2015.
Third Order, Fellowship, Associates
Oblates, Associates and Contact Members offer themselves to God as members of the CAH wider network after a spell of getting to know the Community; and it is encouraging to see so many engaging with us, with the new development in our life. It is our hope that more will seek to make this contact and to develop it, possibly through meeting other members in and away from the East Anglican hub.
Sister Violet (All Hallows Nursing Home, Bungay)
Sister Margaret (Holmwood Residential Home, Bungay)
Sister Edith Margaret (All Hallows Nursing Home, Bungay)
Sister Sheila (Bungay)
Sister Elizabeth (Bungay)
Sister Pamela (Bunessan, Isle of Mull)
Sister Rachel (Norwich)