Where is the LCSB located?
We are a Benedictine community of members located mainly in the UK, although we have members elsewhere including Ireland, Germany and the USA. We are a dispersed community, so we do not have a physical base. Instead, we meet in each other’s houses, in parishes, monasteries and abbeys and, very importantly, online. Wherever we are becomes, for us, our monastery for the day.
Who can join?
Membership of the LCSB is open to Christian men and women of all ages, single or married, lay or religious. We have a Seeker’s programme which helps enquirers (and the community) to discern whether the Benedictine path and the LCSB is right for them. Enquiries about membership can be sent to our Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I have to be a member to participate in LCSB activities?
Many of our activities are open to invited non-members, including our on-line daily prayer. If you are approaching us for the first time, we ask you to contact our Administrator at email@example.com so that we can discuss access. Alternatively many guests come to us through being invited and vouched for by LCSB members.
Do members take vows?
Although the monastic vows of obedience, stability and “conversion of life” are an inspiration to the Lay Community of St. Benedict, we do not ask members to take formal vows. Our members do, however, take a ‘Promise’ annually: In response to the call of Christ
I offer myself to Almighty God, by the help of the Holy Spirit, with the love of the Lay Community of Saint Benedict, to live holy communion, create holy space and offer holy service in the ways in which my circumstances allow.
Is membership for life?
No, but it can be. We have a few who have been members since the Community was founded in 1971. However, recognising that circumstances change, all we ask is for members to commit themselves annually to the community.
Is there a joining fee or annual subscription?
No. We are a community of people joined together by our community values. We do have monetary expenses such as salaries for staff and community members are asked to contribute to the running of the community in ways in which their circumstances allow for example through prayer, giving their time and giving financially.
How old is the Lay Community of St Benedict?
In 2021, we celebrated our 50th anniversary. For the first 32 years, we were known as Worth Abbey Lay Community but since 2003 we have been an independent community.
Is the LCSB a part of Worth Abbey?
No, we are a fully independent community. Whilst we still maintain strong links with Worth Abbey, and continue to run some of our events at Worth, we are also developing relationships with other religious communities and abbeys.
Is the LCSB a monastic Community?
No. LCSB members do not become monks or nuns of our community. Members do not live in a monastic enclosure.
Are members of the LCSB oblates?
No. Many monasteries and abbeys have oblates. These are lay men and women who choose to associate themselves with a monastery or abbey but who do not take vows. However, we are not a monastery or an abbey.
Does the LCSB have an Abbot?
No. The structure of the LCSB is based around the model of a Leader, an Assistant to the Leader, and a Council with responsibility for specific areas of the Lay Community’s ministry and mission. The whole community is responsible for the election of a Leader every three years, after an appropriate period of prayer and discernment.
Is the LCSB Anglican, Baptist, Methodist,
Roman Catholic, URC, or some other denomination?
The LCSB is not affiliated to any Christian denomination. Whilst many of our members are Roman Catholic, which reflects our history before independence from Worth Abbey, those joining us today come from many and various Christian denominations and traditions. For safeguarding purposes, however, we work under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham.
Is the LCSB an ecumenical Community?
We try to be. Whilst much of our liturgy is Roman Catholic based (with some ecumenical variations), members of the LCSB come from a number of different denominations and traditions and we seek to be a community which shows that what unites as Christians is far more important than anything that divides us.