A Way Of Life For The Islington Set?

Tony Blair's Islington Set launched New Labour and a Third Way from the modish cafe's, smart apartments, schools and jogging parks of this part of North London. I drove a few hundred miles south to another Islington Set half a mile and twelve years further on - in particular to a church at the hub of it all. This church does not want a Third Way so much as a Way of Life. It will dedicate 2013 to a year's discipleship process to do with this Way of Life. This  will engage the people who relate to the church in many and varied ways in a 'mixed economy' approach.  Some will engage in it through Sunday services, and others through young peoples clubs; some through home groups and others through Jazz Vespers. People who don't do services or groups will engage with a weekly inter-active exercise on the church web site. We will contribute a range of tools based on the book 'A Pilgrim Way' and individual and group reflective exercises. Each month a different element of our Way of Life will be explored. I will kick the year off with a sermon on January 20.  A highlight of the year will be an all-age church week-end in July when the Way of Life will be brought alive and the Holy Spirit will be invited to help everyone apply it. 

After meeting the planning group I met with the members of a former Alpha course. They continue to meet monthly over a swish meal in a nice house and hold intellectual discussion of a high order.  Before departing I admired the church notice boards: ‘Roots Down, Branches Out’ (multi-coloured picture of a tree). Left side of the board is headed ‘Spirituality’ and lists worship events. Right side is headed ‘Community’ and its list includes action for the homeless and ‘Sinai in the City – a monastery without walls’.

Then I attempt to drive to a Saint Hilda's-tide retreat at Pleshey, Essex. I vow never, ever again to drive my car in London in this life or the next.
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Posted at 08:39am on 17th November 2012
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