The Community of St Chad was formed around ten years ago. It is a dispersed community, open to anyone living throughout Lichfield Diocese and beyond, with over 90 official members, and many more who use the Community Handbook and prayer resources. Ours is a community founded on companion groups of three people who meet to pray together and who live out five Rhythms of Grace.
Rhythm One: By God’s grace, I will seek to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
Each and every one of us will interpret this statement slightly differently, and it is our responsibility to work through the implications for ourselves. Perhaps living out this first rhythm would look like being honest in all we say and do, speaking and acting positively, checking in with ourselves on what material things we covet more than we should.
Rhythm Two: by God’s grace, I will be open to the presence, guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
I live this second rhythm out by being open to the nudges of the Spirit. For example, as you walk past an unknown house there is that nudge to knock on the door. When someone says they are okay, the nudge to ask ‘are you really?’ God’s Spirit is at work all around us and by being intentional we notice the things God is doing that we can join in with.
Rhythm Three: by God’s grace, I set aside time for prayer, worship and spiritual reading.
Our corporate worship is fed by our individual devotion. Reading the Bible, using commentaries and study notes, and reading Christian books all feed us on our spiritual journey. There is now a plethora of apps including The Bible Project, PrayAsYouGo, The Daily Prayer App, and Lectio 365 which enable us to be fed wherever we are.
Rhythm Four: by God’s grace, I will endeavour to be a gracious presence in the world, serving others and working for justice in human relationships and social structures.
I find this rhythm to be the one that opens the armour around people’s hearts and where transformation happens in our communities. Working for justice means we do not shy away from conflict, but challenge unjust circumstances with grace and truth. Our generosity and our willingness to give and receive the gifts of God’s abundance leads us into deeper relationship with God and the communities we serve.
Rhythm Five: by God’s grace I will sensitively share my faith with others and support God’s mission both locally and globally.
The church can be inward looking, and this fifth rhythm encourages us to lift our heads and seek out the bigger picture of God’s mission in the wider world. It encourages us to be imaginative in the way we present the gospel, to help our neighbours near and far as we live out our calling to share our faith.
These five Rhythms are not rules that dictate our behaviour, instead they form a foundation of self-examination helping us to see how we can grow as disciples of Christ. St Chad’s Day is 2nd March 2023. If you’d like to join the special service of recommitment at Lichfield Cathedral on Sunday 5th March at 15:30, or want to find out more about the community of St Chad, please email email@example.com. If you’d like to join us in prayer online on Tuesday evenings at 6pm, or Friday mornings at 9am, the Zoom details are on our website, lichfield.anglican.org /community-st-chad/
The community of St Chad is led by Revd Chris Precious, vicar of Kinnerley with Melverley, Knockin with Maesbrook and Maesbury
together with Revd Rosanne Wilshire, vicar of St Stephen’s Willenhall