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Ecumenical Prayers at Lambeth

Adapted from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website

The Archbishop of Canterbury and ecumenical guests prayed for two community leaders at Lambeth Palace on January 28. Archbishop Justin Welby licensed the Rev. Anders Litzell as prior of the Community of St. Anselm and Sister Sonia Béranger as its director of community in an ecumenical service. Members of the congregation laid hands on the new prior and director and prayed for them in English and French.

The Community of St. Anselm, which launches in September, is a radical new initiative by Archbishop Justin Welby. Young Christians from around the world are invited to spend “a year in God’s time” at Lambeth Palace.

Litzell is an Anglican priest from Sweden who has experience in the Pentecostal and Lutheran traditions as well as three provinces of the Anglican Communion. Having studied in the United States before becoming ordained in the Church of England, he served a Lutheran parish in Sweden and directed Alpha’s Sweden office. Later he moved to London to work with Alpha International. He will pioneer the community and direct its worship and work.

Sister Sonia is a senior member of the Chemin Neuf community with experience in the spiritual formation of young people across several continents. Most recently she led Chemin Neuf’s community at Hautecombe Abbey in France. As well as being responsible for the abbey, which welcomes 100,000 visitors a year, she also ran a training program for young Christians from different nationalities and denominations. She will be responsible for the Community of St. Anselm’s spiritual formation and communal life.

“This is a moment of extraordinary adventure,” Archbishop Welby said. “We don’t know what the outcomes will be. It is a question for the Holy Spirit of God, and that’s a very, very good place to be.

“Our hope and vision is that those young people who come here will be so changed by their encounter with Christ that in 20 or 30 years they will change the world.”

Applications for the Community of St. Anselm open in February. Find out more by visiting the Community’s website.

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