'Thanks for being With us' as community closes
The innovative With Community at the former All Hallows Convent at Ditchingham is set to close its doors, with staff made redundant after a lack of bookings.
“The trustees have taken the difficult decision to close With Community Limited,” writes Jamie Cutteridge. “This last two years of pandemic and lockdowns meant nothing could be organised and far fewer groups were booking, because of the uncertainty of being able to come.
“That combined with grant-making trusts focussing predominately on Covid initiatives left us in a position where we no longer have the financial resources to take the project forward. The decision was made to protect the charity from future insolvency.”
The Trustees have expressed their gratitude for the “prayers, practical support and wisdom” of those who got behind the initiative. During the time of its existence, the community invited hundreds of young people and Christians working with young people into the former convent.
“In that space, they’ve met with Jesus, met with him in ways that your typical spaces for young people don’t allow. They have gone back to contexts around the country inspired and refreshed,” writes Jamie.
“We believe nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of God, and what a gift this has been. Guests have joined in the rhythm of life and prayer on site, valued being with us, as well as the beauty and quality of presence in this place, where God has been worshipped and served for a long time. We have had curates, ordinands and others on placement who have found their experience transformative for their rhythm of life and prayer.”
The lease is being returned and the final groups which had booked in May are visiting as programmes are wound down.
The trustees are now exploring options and invite suggestions. Anyone with ideas to bring is welcome to get in touch on email@example.com
Pictured above is Jamie Cutteridge at Ditchingham.