Yesterday, Friday, 18 SEP 2015, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, commissioned the first members of the St Anselm Community centered in residence in Lambeth Palace. During a worship service in the palace chapel, 36 young adults from Greater London, the countries of the UK, as well as, different nations of the world, made a commitment to live as a monastic-inspired community dedicated to prayer, study and service.
Sixteen of the members will live full-time in community as residents of the palace.The other 20 will live in London where they will continue secular jobs in a variety of sectors of the world of work, including finance, education, media and civil service. During their year in the Community they will be studying theology and ethics. They will also be engaged in service to one another as those living in residence take on the every day chores of food prep, laundry, housekeeping and gardening in the palace’s vegetable gardens. The resident and non-resident members will also be engaged in London and farther afield in service projects, with a particular emphasis in the disadvantaged and the poor.
The members who were selected after an intensive application process are between the ages of 20 to 35. Required to be baptized Christians, this year they represent the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Pentecostal branches of the Church. They will follow a Rule of Life that has been created from the best practices of the Church’s monastic heritage. The Community is named for St Anselm, himself a scholarly Benedictine monk starting at age 27, who was also an Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1114 CE. The Community of St Anselm in the fulfillment of a promise made by Archbishop Welby when he and his family first took residence in Lambeth palace. The Welbys were moving into the family apartment on the top floor of the palace and someone asked +Justin what he would do with the remainder of the palace. He said that he was going to fill it with young people.
We choose to offer our whole persons: body, soul and spirit, to be shaped in the likeness of Christ by a complete openness to His Holy Spirit. We hold nothing back: there is no thought or doctrine or attitude or value that is exempt from the transforming presence of our Lord.
The Way of Life from The Rule of Life
The Community of St Anselm
The Archbishop serves as Abbot and has called the Revd Anders Litzell to serve as the Prior of the Community of St Anselm. The Revd Litzel was born in Sweden and grew up in the Swedish Pentecostal Church. While attending Wheaton College in IL he was introduced to the Episcopal Church and began worshiping in St Barnabas Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn in Dio Chicago. After returning to Sweden, Father Litzell worked for a parish of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) while he was the director of the Alpha Sweden office. He eventually moved to London to work for Alpha International and was later ordained in the Church of England. In this recruitment video, Father Litzell introduces himself and speaks a bit about the Community of St Anselm.