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It only needs two or three people to form a fellowship embracing The Extra Mile. Jesus said that when only a small number gather in his name he is there. The number of people participating is not as important as the faithfulness to the task of discipleship. Also, what differs from cell groups and Bible study groups is that these parish fellowships commit to live a rule of life.  Like Franciscan tertiaries or Benedictine oblates they do this while living an ordinary life. The spiritual tradition that they feed deeply off is that of the spirituality of the local church and the parish. Some, like George Herbert, have attempted to code this but for the majority of us it manifests itself in our hymns and the vast memory bank of experience and wisdom that stretches back to the Early Church.

Parish fellowships should be formed in cooperation with the local ministry leadership.  It does not necessarily need the minister, priest or vicar to lead it but he or she should be at the very least consulted regularly. Such fellowships need to have their own common life but not a group that acts as if it is superior to others or a clique. Gatherings for support and learning should be regular.  Our experience has been to do this fortnightly but to have a timetable for doing regular prayer during the week.  Those from a more traditional church background will no doubt opt to do some version of the Daily Office and aim to meet several times a week to do it corporately. You can subscribe to regular prayer drops from this site which gives daily material. Around this is also a furthering in comtemplative and meditative prayer.  At Salcombe we meet fortnightly for an afternoon of prayer and meditation.

The Extra Mile rule book details how a group can formulate a regular meeting which includes eating together, studying and planning for acts of service and witness. Although the rule asks individuals to take on ancient practices in their weekly routines the rule also suggests that fellowships do some of this together. The more each group looks at the world around in prayer the more it becomes apparent what God is asking. In religious life this is called 'charism' - namely where a group of Christians experience the Holy Spirit drawing them into a special task and giving them the gifts necessary to do that.  To explore this we need to make sacrifices, to fast, to serve, to love the Church and to invest serious time out for renewal.

To register a group and join our society please contact theThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can register you and send you resources.  It is also possible that one of us can come and visit.

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