Perhaps after finishing your degree, you are restless and wondering what to do?
Or have been made redundant and need time and a place to think through about the future?
Maybe you are experiencing God calling you, to the religious life, or to some sort of ministry in the church, and you need space and a supportive place to work that out?
Whatever the reason may be, we are wanting to welcome women who would like to spend some time with our community, joining in our rhythm of prayer in the Daily Office, and helping us by working alongside.
Here at All Saints, there are many opportunities to try something new. As well as helping out at the Convent, you may want to volunteer with the elderly in St John’s Home, those who are vulnerably housed or homeless at the Porch, or at Helen and Douglas House, with young people with life-limiting conditions…
We welcome both young and not quite so young!
Get in touch with us and learn more at email@example.com
"Finding myself at a cross roads and beginning to wonder what God’s calling for me was, I found myself earnestly writing emails to various religious communities to try out their “Alongsider” program. I only had a brief period of three weeks due to work commitments, but a few communities were accepting of this and offered me a place. I felt drawn to the All Saints community, so said yes!
I was greeted with open arms, a welcoming card and flowers in a very comfortable room in the guest house that was to be my home for the next three weeks. The Sisters always made me feel very comfortable and like I was a part of the community from the beginning. As someone who tends to lead a busy life in London, I found myself getting more sleep than I’d had in a while despite getting up at 5:30am most days! While not a silent order, there was still a lot of time for silent prayer and contemplation and I found myself really growing to adore the pattern of life in community. We had morning, evening and night prayer alongside a daily eucharist, time for work as well as rest, reflection and quiet time and I found the balance of these elements a really satisfying mix and a fulfilling way of life.
Sister Jane, the community leader, had so kindly arranged a daily schedule for my three week stay. Apart from services in chapel, I was doing work with the homeless and vulnerably housed at “The Porch” day centre that the Sisters had first established back in 1986, helping with mass and a singing group at St John’s Nursing Home on site, decorating the convent for Christmas and wrapping gifts, as well as getting on with the daily chores, making a lot of tea and washing up!
One of the highlights of my time at All Saints was being able to spend Christmas Day at The Porch. It was such a joyful day, with a Christmas meal with all the trimmings for everyone, bad cracker jokes and of course, Christmas music! I loved seeing the look on everyone’s faces when I got to play Santa and began handing out the mountain of generous donations that we had wrapped into presents for everyone! There were so many that each person got multiple gifts and the atmosphere was very cheerful the entire day. Due to my interest in the religious life, I was also given the opportunity to explore life at another convent not far from All Saints for a day. While very different in their charism it was fascinating to see how widely the religious life is being lived out and the way God makes us and calls us to different ministries. While I am very early days into exploring my vocation, whether it be a life of service within the context of a religious community or not, the All Saints Sisters really helped show me what leading a life dedicated to God and the services of others could be like and instilled a joy in my heart I hadn’t known before.
Being an Alongsider has been a wonderful experience. There were many “firsts” and it really put my own life into perspective, showed me how much more I had to learn, gave me experience and confidence in working with those in need and showed me that the love of Christ is given to us daily, even in the smallest of ways. In our often materialistic and self centered world it was refreshing to take a step back from my own pursuits and pleasures and become fully available to pursue the work and worship that the Lord made us for. My only regret was that I couldn’t stay longer, but I hope I will be back! If you are considering the religious life at all or need some time out to do something different while reassessing your life or vocation, do consider being an Alongsider. It might just change your life."