All Hallows offer buildings and land for Christian work
The Community of All Hallows at Ditchingham is offering its premises at a “hazelnut rent” to use as a place of Christian community and service in a nationwide Dragon's Den style campaign.
To what purpose would you put a small cluster of houses, a chapel and beautiful grounds in the service of God and the Church?
The Community of All Hallows at Ditchingham on the Norfolk/Suffolk border is making exactly this offer to the Church. The Sisters are moving to become a dispersed Community but are in the fortunate position of being able to offer the site to a new user rather than sell it.
On this site for over 150 years the Sisters have sustained a life of worship prayer and service, reaching out to the vulnerable and marginalised. Now they want to see if there is a new group, organisation or set of individuals who can re-imagine the site for the 21st century.
How, the Sisters are asking, might this place become a resource to God’s Church, a sign of the Kingdom, a place of Christian community and service? So the Sisters are launching a nationwide campaign to make as many people as possible, across the churches, aware of this offer.
The Sisters want to hear from anyone who would like to take on the site and use it in the service of the Church and the Kingdom of God.
Those with the very best ideas will then be invited to attend a Dragon’s Den-style event where they will be asked to make a pitch for the Sisters to offer them the use of this site.
The Community of All Hallows Visitor, the Right Revd. Graham James, Bishop of Norwich has been encouraging the Sisters to think creatively and imaginatively about their future. Sister Sheila, the Community Co-Leader said, "Our Community has been richly blessed by using this beautiful site over many years. Now we want to pass it on so that others can serve God in this place."
Bishop Graham has asked Canon Andy Bryant from Norwich Cathedral to support the Sisters through this time of change. Canon Andy said, "This is a wonderful opportunity and we look forward to hearing people’s suggestions so that this site can continue to be a resource for the Kingdom of God both in East Anglia and beyond.
"The Community hopes to be able to offer the site for a hazelnut rent in return for the new occupier being responsible for the maintenance of the site. However the Community will be shaping the exact nature of the agreement in response to the particular need of the organisation chosen to take on the site."
Over the years the Community of All Hallows has been richly blessed in many ways and they have always wanted to share this with others. The former school run by the All Hallows Community is now the Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, run by the Christian Conference Trust. And part of the former convent buildings are now used by Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, offering a home and meaningful work to homeless people. At the beginning of a new chapter for the Community, their wish is to continue to share the resource of this site with the wider Church.