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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The City is my Monastery: A contemporary rule of life

My colleague at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Richard Carter has written a book called
The City is My Monastery: A Contemporary Rule of Life. It’s being published by Canterbury Press with Forward by Sam Wells and Afterword by Rowan Williams. The book is illustrated by Andrew Carter, Helen Ireland, and Vicky Howard.

On Wednesday 20 November 6.30pm in our service of Bread for the World at St Martin-in-the-Fields Richard will speak about the book.

Richard Carter swapped a life of simplicity with an Anglican religious order in the Solomon Islands for parish ministry in one of London’s busiest churches, St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Seeing a need for monastic values in the centre of the city, he founded the Nazareth Community. Its members gather from everyday life to seek God in contemplation, to acknowledge their dependence on God’s grace and to learn to live openly and generously with all.

Part story, part spiritual meditation, The City is My Monastery offers spiritual wisdom for daily life rooted in the Nazareth Community’s seven guiding principles: Silence, Service, Scripture, Sacrament, Sharing, Sabbath Time and Staying.

‘This wonderful book is both recognizable and startlingly new. What we are given here is not simply another book on ‘spirituality’ but a workbook for living in and with meaning, Christian meaning, Jesus-shaped meaning.’ Rowan Williams

‘This book is a generous gift. The City is My Monastery is rich and moving reading which warmed my spirit and encouraged me to stay.’ The Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London

‘This is a book that moved me deeply and will surely strengthen and give heart to many. It is an autobiography of poetry and prayer. Above all, a powerful poetic meditation on meeting God every day on the streets and in the people of London.’ Neil MacGregor, founding director of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, director of the British Museum 2002-2015

‘Precious few are the books that accomplish what this masterfully practical and inspiring book accomplishes. Nor do they do so with such grace, depth and unflinching insight. Those who tread the pathless path of contemplation will be grateful to be in Richard Carter’s debt for the gift of this remarkable book.’ Martin Laird OSA, author of An Ocean of Light

‘The City is my Monastery is beautiful, inspiring, humble and attractive. It is so deeply soaked in loving attention and that is what makes it so infectious.’ The Revd Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields

‘This is a life-changing book, and needs to be read as it is written - as a prayer.’ Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge

‘There are treasures on every page: wisdom gathered, practised and shared. This book is so readable it could be a quick read, but linger and use it slowly over the months and years. This is a guide to life.’ The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

‘This is one of those books that can be a lifetime’s companion, holding before us what we are here for: Life.’ Father George Guiver, Community of the Resurrection.

‘Richard Carter has written a book not of abstract theory but of lived experience and practice. It will inspire urban and rural dwellers alike.’ Revd Lucy Winkett Rector St James's Church, Piccadilly


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