Friday, 20 May 2016

Lee Abbey May 2016 - Part 2

Lee Abbey is a Christian Community based in what was originally a country house on the Devon coast. For some people it was their first visit, so everything was new. For others, who had been before, it was a case of finding some things the same, and other things changed.
Lee Abbey from part of the estate woodland(AC)
Paul Batson had been a community member in his younger days, and was now experiencing things as a guest. Josie Griffith of Christ Church, now on her fifth visit recalled her first visit in the 1950s when visitors stayed in dormitories, with four people to a room.
Mary Hewetson and Josie Griffith enjoy a chat over tea (AC)
For Barry and Ann Chapman, whose previous five visits were with University of Bath students and chaplaincy staff, it was new to be with so many Christians of long standing and for our (then young) daughters not to be there with us.
Outside of the Octagon, used for talks and worship (AC)
The weekend provided opportunities to worship, some teaching sesssions, organised activities and space to just relax. Since Lee Abbey can accomodate 107 people in 58 bedrooms, there were several other smaller groups visiting at the same time, including some families with young children. This meant that not only were we able to get to know each other better, but also to share experiences and issues with other Christians.
Part of Lee Abbey (JCJ)
Teaching sessions: Simon Farrar based the sessions on the Psalms, focusing on 'God speaks', 'God laughs' and 'God acts'. Before and after the talks there was time for worship songs - some familiar and some new to us - supported by musicians from the community.
The Octagon ceiling (AC)
There were also two visiting pastoral helpers, specifically to chat with, listen to and pray with guests who felt the need to have time with a sympathetic but impartial person.

Worship included a pre-breakfast prayer walk, prayer with the community in the Chapel, Christ in Quiet (one night in the Chapel, the other at the Fire Pit near the house), and Holy Communion on Sunday morning in the Octagon.
More tea drinkers - Judith Cunliffe Jones and Alison Wells (AC)
Members of the community are assigned to different teams - such as the kitchen team, the host team and the estate team. Two community members preside at each of the dining tables, serving the guests. The host team lead activities for the weekend.

Photos by Judith Cunliffe Jones and Ann & Barry Chapman