A Place of Welcome

By Lynne, fcJ

We often refer to our community as a place of welcome. It sounds lovely and certainly fits in with our Christian values. We can see welcome in our Chapter Documents and in the Gospels. Its the sort of phrase that gives a warm feeling of goodness and that everything is in its place. ‘A Place of Welcome’ summons up calm images of people visiting, drinking tea and having opportunity for spiritual nourishment.

But the reality can be somewhat different, much more complex and certainly more chaotic!

Over the last week we have welcomed 14 people to stay (all of you are, and were, most welcome by the way!!!!). It means making beds, washing sheets, moving furniture, adjusting our ordinary lives, coming in after work and doing the cleaning or preparing an input, being available to people with all their questions, conversations and crises… it means being willing to adjust times of prayer and to sit later in the evening to play a game or have a conversation. It means opening ourselves up to new ways of doing things and then trying to find where all the crockery has been stowed when everyone has left.

What’s my point?

Welcome is wonderful. It is stretching. And part of the joy comes from the energy that it requires – like the feeling of tiredness after a long walk that makes you know that you are alive!