Jim is an active companion of the Northumbria Community. He regularly helps out at the retreat centre and Mother house in Northumbria.
Jim's life and work comes under its wing.
The Northumbria Community is a progressive Christian community, dispersed alone/together throughout the world.
It follows a Celtic arc, from the teachings of Jesus and the early church, passed on through the first ever coptic monasteries to Irish Christianity, to the mission and from Iona to Lindisfarne. Bringing a message of hope to Northumbria during the early medieval period.
The purpose of Northumbria Community
Northumbria Community exist to embody a set of values, described in our Rule of Life of Availability and Vulnerability, which echoes, and points to, the life of Christ, and to support one another in our commitment to orientate ourselves toward this as a way for living.
Knowing we have named and committed ourselves to this Rule fosters perseverance.
To hold the truth of the paradox of the Christian journey as being one taken alone/together.
Each must take the journey alone. There is no substitute for leaning our own head on the breast of Christ and listening for the heartbeat of God.
There is no abdicating our own responsibility for our own life and no shortcuts for the work, struggle and intimacy of the cell of the heart before God.
Yet, whilst on the journey, we are together. Others are headed in the same direction and come alongside to offer encouragement.
Sometimes this encouragement is direct and verbal, sometimes it is through friendship, sometimes it comes through prayer support, and sometimes it is knowing that someone else is on a similar path through the wilderness of the inner exile.
Knowing we are connected to others on the journey fosters courage. To inspire each other to each be our own one-of-a-kind, God-designed selves.
In a culture of celebrity, consumerism and hyper-productivity, the Northumbria Community strengthens people to be themselves. Knowing we are each accepted for who we are, and accepting others for who they are, fosters authenticity.
To encourage each other to live the questions at the heart of our journey alone/together. No one is going to give us the answer. No one is going to show us what living this way looks like for each of us in our own contexts.
We have to risk, experiment and make peace with mystery. Living with the questions and discerning how to live the Rule in our own context fosters creativity.
To be a sign that another way of living is possible. Even if people are not called to be Companions with us, the living witness of an alternative way gives refreshment to those, both within and without the Church, who see and need it.
Knowing there are real choices around how to live and connect fosters hope.
The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old and uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time men and women banded together to do this.
Dynamic and erratic, spontaneous and radical, audacious and immature, committed if not altogether coherent, ecumenically open and often experimental, visible here and there, now and then, but unsettled institutionally. Almost monastic in nature but most of all
enacting a fearful hope for human life in society.
The Northumbria Community occupies an interesting 'Third Space' which is not the long established denominations or their traditional monastic communities, and nor is it a newer form of church or newer 'new monastic' community.
One of the gifts of the Northumbria Community to the body of Christ today is that it is rooted through its thirty plus years of exploration, and yet at the same time it is also still seen to be experimental and prophetic.
Jim Bailey Pilgrim Paths
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