Ecumenical group takes over Sclerder Abbey from Carmelites

Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth has welcomed a Chemin Neuf (“New Way”) community to an abbey in Cornwall.

The community, which was founded in France in the 1970s, will take over Sclerder Abbey from the Carmelites.

It plans to offer Ignatian retreats, youth events and “Cana weekends” for families and married couples.

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The community, which has a base in Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is made up of a mix of denominations. It is open to married couples as well as priests and religious and celibate single people.

Sclerder Abbey was founded in 1843. It has had a Carmelite presence since 1981.

Bishop O’Toole said in a homily welcoming Chemin Neuf: “We give thanks for this new chapter in the life of this place, recognising the gifts that Chemin Neuf brings to our diocese and to the UK. We thank you all for your generosity in entrusting yourselves so fully to the action of God’s Spirit in this new Mission. Your presence manifests an important gift for the New Evangelisation with the energy and vitality which the newer ecclesial communities bring to the Church.

“Part of our common task today is to accompany people on the journey of discovery into the God who is all goodness and truth, and who desires that we come to Him as His beloved children. This is one important reason why we are so delighted to welcome Chemin Neuf, with your experience of accompanying families, and individuals, along the path of deeper conversion to Jesus.”

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