Written from experience, this manual gives practical, accessible advice for those involved in the running of small religious communities.
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Like the author's previous book Meetings That Work, this is a self-help manual giving practical advice in an accessible way, helping people to realise their full potential. Aimed at those in small life-giving communities practising collegiality, subsidiarity and collaborative reflective ministry, the book offers the benefit of Catherine Widdicombe's wide experience to leaders and members of communities who have no outside aid.
The importance of small communities in religious life is explored and the problems faced while living in them is examined, from unfamiliar and unexpected relational demands to new spiritual challenges.
The author has spent over 20 years working in these areas, primarily with women from widely different religious communities, and has developed a highly accessible book to help leaders and members of communities who have little access to facilitators.
Foreword and acknowledgements
Part One: Small Communities in Religious Life
I. Transition in religious life: its nature and facilitation
II. Community in apostolic religious life
Part Two: Opening and Closing Small Communities
III. Forming small communities
IV. Closure of a small community
Part Three: Religious Life in Small Communities
V. Living as a small community
VI. Leadership in the community
VII. Mission and ministry
VIII. Reviewing and evaluating
IX. Community and congregation
Part Four: Transition Between Communities
X. Moving to another community
XI. A change of community membership
Part Five: Towards Equipping Small Communities
XII. Problems and problem solving
XIII. Decisions and decision making
XIV. Ways of evaluating life and ministry
XV. Making community meetings work
XVI. Meetings and exercises
A Word in Conclusion
Index of Names
Catherine Widdicombe is co-founder of Avec, an agency for Church and community work, and formerly President of the Grail Society. She is experienced in working with a wide range of groups, and continues to work with groups both secular and religious. She is co-author of Churches and Communities: An Approach in Development in the Local Church. She lives in Pinner, Middlesex.