Posted: 18th September, 2020
A new urban Christian community is being established in Plymouth by the Diocese of Exeter in partnership with the Lee Abbey Movement.
Residents of the Small Missional Community (SMC) will live in a former vicarage owned by the Diocese of Exeter next to St Mark’s Church in Ford.
Joining the new community will be the Reverend Jonathan Devereux, 29, who was previously the student pastor at St Matt’s Church in Plymouth and was ordained at Exeter Cathedral on 13 September.
He said “The idea behind the community is a group of Christians living together with missional intent for the area they’re in.
“We will pray together, eat some meals together, worship together and share chores.”
“I am nervous and excited about living in community for the first time and getting the opportunity to plant a brand new church.”
Making a difference in Ford
Lee Abbey is looking for four other people to join Jon in the house. The communities are designed to be financially sustainable and members would ideally have a part-time paid job.
Once the community is set up it will aim to make a difference in the area where it is located and hopes to make use of the church building next door as an outreach hub to run groups and activities likes film nights, sports events and, eventually, services.
Jon said “I want to see the doors open regularly.”
The Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, said “We value the opportunity to join with Lee Abbey in creating a new Christian presence in the city.
“We pray for God’s blessing on what lies ahead.”
As well as Lee Abbey Devon, which runs holidays, conferences and Christian retreats at its site on the north Devon Coast, near Lynton,
The Lee Abbey Movement includes Lee Abbey Devon, a Christian community which runs holidays, conferences and Christian retreats at its site on the north Devon coast, near Lynton.
It also works out its mission of “communicating Christ through relationships” through Lee Abbey London (a Christian community providing student accommodation) and its existing small missional communities in Aston, Birmingham and Knowle West, Bristol.
The Reverend Nick Haigh, the Mission Chaplain for Lee Abbey Devon, said “Living in intentional Christian community is a costly adventure where we are invited by God to grow and share our faith in new and exciting ways.”
“We are excited to see how God will use this new venture”
The Venerable Andy Wooding Jones, the Archdeacon of Rochester and Lee Abbey SMC Advocate, said “For over 30 years in its small missional communities, Lee Abbey has been supporting and resourcing the church in urban areas up and down the country.
“We are very excited to be working with the Diocese of Exeter as we plant this new expression of church and missional community in Plymouth.”
Nick Haigh added “We are particularly excited to see how God will use this new venture to grow His Kingdom through planting church in the community.”